Generations of interdisciplinarity in bioinformatics

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Bioinformatics, a specialism propelled into relevance by the Human Genome Project and the subsequent -omic turn in the life science, is an interdisciplinary field of research. Qualitative work on the disciplinary identities of bioinformaticians has revealed the tensions involved in work in this “borderland.” As part of our ongoing work on the emergence of bioinformatics, between 2010 and 2011, we conducted a survey of United Kingdom-based academic bioinformaticians. Building on insights drawn from our fieldwork over the past decade, we present results from this survey relevant to a discussion of disciplinary generation and stabilization. Not only is there evidence of an attitudinal divide between the different disciplinary cultures that make up bioinformatics, but there are distinctions between the forerunners, founders and the followers; as inter/disciplines mature, they face challenges that are both inter-disciplinary and inter-generational in nature.




Bartlett, A., Lewis, J., & Williams, M. L. (2016). Generations of interdisciplinarity in bioinformatics. New Genetics and Society, 35(2), 186–209.

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