Research Workshops Methodology

The three project workshops on this grant implement concrete strategies for interdisciplinary synthesis that have emerged out of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (Rodrigo et al. 2013; Sidlauskas et al. 2010):

  • data aggregation—the reinterpretation of data from the two primary domains under consideration (generic and genetic approaches) to generate new inferences at larger scales than possible with each domain in isolation
  • the reuse of results—distinct analyses and utilization of data by the approach that did not generate the data in order to probe the limits and robustness of this data in unforeseen contexts (especially for the other approach)
  • methodological integration—finding common ground for the key methods found in both domains (e.g., computer simulation for generic approaches and molecular manipulation for genetic approaches) to establish new inferential pathways about development, novelty, or evolvability
  • conceptual synthesis—exposing the underlying assumptions of both approaches as heuristics, rather than non-negotiable governing principles, thus paving the way for bridging the conceptual differences between generic and genetic approaches in each domain