Moving the science of team science forward: collaboration and creativity

Am J Prev Med. 2008 Aug;35(2 Suppl):S243-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.05.007.


Teams of scientists representing diverse disciplines are often brought together for purposes of better understanding and, ultimately, resolving urgent public health and environmental problems. Likewise, the emerging field of the science of team science draws on diverse disciplinary perspectives to better understand and enhance the processes and outcomes of scientific collaboration. In this supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, leading scholars in the nascent field of team science have come together with a common goal of advancing the field with new models, methods, and measures. This summary article highlights key themes reflected in the supplement and identifies several promising directions for future research organized around the following broad challenges: (1) operationalizing cross-disciplinary team science and training more clearly; (2) conceptualizing the multiple dimensions of readiness for team science; (3) ensuring the sustainability of transdisciplinary team science; (4) developing more effective models and strategies for training transdisciplinary scientists; (5) creating and validating improved models, methods, and measures for evaluating team science; and (6) fostering transdisciplinary cross-sector partnerships. A call to action is made to leaders from the research, funding, and practice sectors to embrace strategies of creativity and innovation in a collective effort to move the field forward, which may not only advance the science of team science but, ultimately, public health science and practice.

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Creativity
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Research Personnel / education
  • Research Personnel / organization & administration
  • Science / education
  • Science / organization & administration*
  • Science / trends