IRG1-3a: The Origins of Academic Interdisciplinary Research: Emergence and Transformation of Materials Research Laboratories, 1960-1975

(Hyungsub Choi)


Recent research has focused on the University of Pennsylvania's Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter. These investigations include conducting oral histories with key materials scientists, and reviewing archival documents, including early building layouts and plans for the new Penn nanotechnology research building currently under construction.


As a spinoff of the research supported by CNS, Choi has prepared and submitted an NSF Scholars Award proposal, entitled “A Study of Interdisciplinary Materials Research and Training in the United States.” This project, comprised of detailed case studies of early Interdisciplinary Laboratories at Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern University, will examine three themes: 1) Interdisciplinarity and the Built Environment; 2) Origin of the “Center Mode of Support”; and 3) “Training Interdisciplinary Researchers.”