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Michigan State University is in the process of establishing the MSU Center for Interdisciplinarity (C4I), a unit that will advance interdisciplinary research and pedagogy at the University while preparing the next generation of citizen leaders to address the most challenging questions of our time.

About the Center

Interdisciplinarity is the theory and practice of combining two or more academic disciplines to address complex questions in a broader and more nuanced way than is possible from a single disciplinary perspective. In recent decades, it has become a bigger part of the research and teaching missions of post-secondary institutions, and is also itself becoming the focus of inquiry and criticism. In particular, important philosophical perspectives on interdisciplinary practice have emerged, and the philosophy of interdisciplinarity is a growing subfield of philosophy that offers new insights for interdisciplinary practitioners and a compelling approach to the role of philosophy in society as a whole.

The C4I will position Michigan State University to become an international leader in efforts to understand and address the most intractable questions of our time collaboratively across the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. Complex problems such as food security and environmental justice have important conceptual and empirical dimensions that require input from a wide range of other disciplines. At the same time, they are problems for people outside the academy, and any adequate response will require input from non-academic stakeholders. This unit will draw on the international strengths of Michigan State University in the sciences, social sciences, business, agriculture, arts, and humanities to develop conscientious and transformative responses to the most challenging questions we face.