Interdisciplinary Approaches and Energy Research

Jan. 30, 2017
A Times Higher Education article features new School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) faculty member, Nicole Sintov. The article highlights the complexity early and mid-career scientists may face in conducting interdisciplinary research and recently published in the journal, Energy Policy.

A Times Higher Education article features new School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) faculty member, Nicole Sintov. The article highlights the complexity early and mid-career scientists may face in conducting interdisciplinary research and recently published in the journal, Energy Policy.

The review, published and available online in Energy Policy, discusses the importance of the social sciences in helping to solve complex societal problems and situates energy research as “an exemplary interdisciplinary domain that integrates across many different disciplines.”

The article is authored by Geertje Schuitema, who is a lecturer at University College Dublin and Sintov, an assistant professor of Behavior, Decision Making and Sustainability in the SENR, who was recently jointly hired as part of Ohio State’s Discovery Themes Sustainable and Resilient Economy focus area.

Before joining the faculty at Ohio State, Dr. Sintov was an assistant professor of research at the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy with a joint appointment in engineering. Dr. Schuitema holds a joint appointment in business and engineering.

A key aspect of both of their roles at the time of writing the review for Energy Policy was to integrate social sciences in energy research. Their combined experience working on the frontlines of interdisciplinary energy research coupled with the emerging literature on the topic inform the published article.

The authors argue that before “true” interdisciplinary energy research can be achieved, several challenges and barriers must be addressed and provide recommendations for overcoming these, including the need for early interdisciplinary training and funding opportunities that foster the full integration of the social sciences into energy research.