The Interdisciplinary Research Initiative (IRI)
of the
International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)


The International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) is launching the Interdisciplinary Research Initiative (IRI) in response to a general recognition of the need for faculty and students to be exposed to interdisciplinary research and views. The successful launching of the initiative will be celebrated at the Forty-Third Annual Meeting of the ISSS in Atlanta July 19-24, 1998, with special recognition of the institution presenting the most cross-discipline, multiple-authored papers inspired by the initiative.

A program inspired by the ISSS Presidential Commission on Systems Education Programs and Materials, the initiative directly addresses the newest accrediting standards for higher education that require cross-discipline integrative experience in the curriculum and research of universities. The ISSS is uniquely qualified to provide leadership for such integration. In this organization, the idea that all things real and imagined may be viewed as systems (sets of related and intersecting elements) and, consequently, all things may be known by their relations and interactions with all other things has been used for more than four decades to perform a special type of integration - systemic synthesis.

The ISSS is not a conglomerate of special interest groups. It is the opposite. Through special integration groups (SIGs), our society synthesizes diverse disciplined knowledge into cohesive wholes, systematically integrating that knowledge. These groups form the tentacles that reach into the diverse disciplines of human investigations to build bridges among them for the unifying of the arts and humanities, as well as the sciences. Those bridges are not built from one discipline to another through informal analogy and the forced-fittings of methods and models as often occurs in the grand umbrella interdisciplinary organizations. Instead, as 2,000 years ago, all roads were said to lead to Rome, the interdisciplinary bridges we build all lead through systems science. And, as with the great transportation hubs of today, you can go anywhere from there. When the bridge is build between systems science and a discipline, the whole world is open to that discipline, and that discipline to the whole world. In the absence of a specialist-styled core of knowledge, the SIGs act as search engines, providing orderly paths for newcomers to find their way into the diverse but systemically integrated body of knowledge that constitutes systems science.

We invite all individuals interested in cross-discipline research to join our initiative. Joining is simple. Just contact

G. A. Swanson, President ISSS
Dept. of Accounting and Business Law
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, Tennessee 38505
(615) 372-3883 (TEL)
(615) 372-6249 (FAX) (EMAIL)

to give him information on your areas of interest. He will team you with someone interested in similar areas and provide ideas for you to develop on campus or in institution IRI if possible.

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