Creating Interdisciplinarity within Mono-disciplinary Structures

PhD defense by Katrine Lindvig
Katrine Lindvig

The Department of Science Education announces the public defense of the PhD-thesis "Creating Interdisciplinarity within Mono-disciplinary Structures" by Katrine Lindvig.

The defense takes place in the Auditorium of Geological Museum (access through main entrance, go to first floor).

The defense is followed by a reception hosted by the Department of Science Education. The reception takes place at the old Observatory, Øster Voldgade 3 (in the Botanical Garden).

Please contact secretary Christina Larsen if you have any questions regarding the defense.


Professor Lars Ulriksen and Associate Professor Trine Øland.

Assessment committee

Professor Hanne Andersen, DSE (Chair)
Professor Rick Szostak, University of Alberta, Canada
Professor Eva Bendix Petersen, Roskilde University


The objectives of the PhD project were to explore the linkages between interdisciplinary research and education, and to follow the concrete development and execution of interdisciplinary educational activities. In order to meet these objectives, an extensive literature study and a two-year ethnographic fieldwork were conducted. The PhD project was part of the development project ‘Interdisciplinary education at UCPH’, with the aim of improving and supporting interdisciplinary teaching and learning at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH).

The findings of the PhD study point towards wide discrepancies in the use of the term interdisciplinarity, which have repercussions for the practices and incentives of creating interdisciplinary education, research and collaboration. Overall, the thesis show that interdisciplinary teaching and learning practices has to engage in a continuous balancing of different dynamics and interests. One important consequence of this is that crucial interdisciplinary learning experiences of students occur in the interstices between mono-disciplinary structures and practices, and that a way of supporting the development of interdisciplinary competences among students would be to maintain the students’ opportunities of acting within these interstices.

Another finding of the study is that although the discussion of how to understand and define interdisciplinarity is indeed important, insisting on particular fixed definitions may, at the end of the day, be detrimental to what could be considered interdisciplinary practices.

Download PhD-thesis