PoS seminar 13.12. with Samuli Reijula

At the next Perspectives on Science seminar on Monday 13.12., Samuli Reijula (University of Helsinki) will give a presentation titled “Division of cognitive labor: The costs and benefits of interdisciplinarity”, based on work co-authored with Jaakko Kuorikoski and Miles MacLeod. The seminar takes place in Zoom from 14:15 to 15:45.

Perspectives on Science is a weekly research seminar which brings together experts from science studies and philosophy of science. It is organized by TINT – Centre for Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. More information about the seminar here.

To join the seminar, please sign up here.


Interdisciplinarity in its many forms is aggressively promoted in science policy across the world. It is seen as a necessary condition for providing practical solutions to pressing complex problems for which no single disciplinary approach can single handedly hold all the required answers. In this paper we model multi- and interdisciplinary research as an instance of collective problem-solving. Our goal is to provide a basic representation of this type of problem-solving and chart the epistemic benefits and costs of researchers engaging in different forms of cognitive coordination. Forms of cognitive coordination often found in multidisciplinary research projects result in a conservative bias, which hinders progress in tasks requiring collaborative interdisciplinary problem solving.

Author bio:

Samuli Reijula is an Academy of Finland research fellow (2020-2025) and university lecturer in theoretical philosophy at the University of Helsinki.