I cannot tell, of course, how you might have arrived at this
website. But let me say something of how it would strike me, had
I come upon it from afar by way of a confession, in fact.
A Confession ...
Three things trouble me.
The first is obvious and perhaps trivial. What I want to say
here should be described as "under construction" in
this idiom of the website. The other two things troubling me are
neither obvious nor trivial.
When asked to give an account of what our program does, I often
find that, first, I cannot remember all of it in a succinct manner
and, second (just as often), I sense the attention of my questioner
tailing away, as I recite a sequence of subject titles
I can discern of rapidly declining relevance to them.
I am hoping this is in the nature of our program (not any failing
on my part). For the program is not easily bounded. It is by no
means contained within the University of Georgia or embodied physically
in the sum total of the persons and equipment/facilities gathered
around me in the confines of the Warnell School of Forest Resources.
This is an extensive program (the image comes to mind of the rambling
tangles hereabouts in Georgia of kudzu a riotous vine,
in my opinion). I know that the content of the accompanying set
of inter-mingling networks, stretching around the globe (and bringing
the world, thereby, into my office) may stray well outside your
particular interest. That troubles me, and my struggle in composing
this website is to make as much of it of interest as possible,
given that you have been determined enough to reach this point.
All this, I think, is in the nature of "being inter-disciplinary".
||Kuduz eats house
From Chelating Agents to Cultural Theory
The work we do simply cannot be easily pigeon-holed. It cannot
be cast, we all know, within the regular mold of a single, focused
university departmental structure. I am not even sure it can be
articulated entirely within the customary complex of the research-funding
agency, the university, and, as appropriate, the concerned industrial/commercial
sector. For my agenda of research and instruction, I am finding
increasingly that intellectual leadership resides in the thinking
of corporate leaders, their entourages of consultants, the directors
of international associations, and the like.
In any case, I have organized this website both as an expression
of a whole that is why there is a lot of it and
as a site where you can dip into the mono-disciplinary bit of
interest to you, without getting bogged down in the clutter of
all the other parts of the whole. Yet, when it comes to our current
research projects, I have written and composed these in a
"joined-up" way, so that you might be tempted to read
on, beyond your own subject.
We need to weave together in a seamless manner the topics of,
say, chelating agents and Cultural Theory, so that neither the
geochemist nor the anthropologist is troubled by his/her encounter
with the other's disciplinary specialism, if this is what the
problem at hand demands as it did in our work on Lake Lanier.
Such weaving together requires just one pair of hands, in the
end, to achieve a pleasing result. One individual, with rather
copious amounts of time, will have to mix the intellectual glue
(to change the metaphor), apply it to all the disciplinary parts,
and allow curing sufficient for the bond to hold fast.
I believe what I am trying to express here may come to suffuse
university life and academic enquiry in the future. If I am wrong
about this, for it does seem a bit half-baked, please e-mail us
(on firstname.lastname@example.org). We
are always interested in feedback. Otherwise, just click here
Program of Graduate Instruction"] for a continuing dialog
on what for me constitutes "being inter-disciplinary".
M Bruce Beck