University of Peradeniya – Elite place for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research activities to tackle 21st century challenges
Two of the unprecedented challenges we face in the 21st century are Global Warming and the Covid Pandemic. Given the extent and novelty of the challenges we face with these, it is obvious that scientists, economists, sociologists, ecologists, environmentalists, and so on will be needed to provide solutions and answers to inform decision-makers on many issues. One significant challenge of this process is the need for cooperation between different disciplines and integrating different perspectives. However, due to the variety of disciplines involved and their different theoretical frameworks, interdisciplinary approaches are necessary to tackle Global Warming, Covid Pandemic, and many similar challenges.
Universities which have taken a path of increasing specialization by deconstructing their curricula, research programmes, etc., into smaller fragments creating the disciplines and subdisciplines will not be able to cater for the interdisciplinary approaches. As explained by Professor Jill Trewhella from the University of Sydney, Australia, interdisciplinary research requires either that an individual researcher gains a depth of understanding two or more than one discipline and be fluent in their languages and methodologies, or more frequently that multidisciplinary teams assemble and create a common language and framework for discovery and innovation.
In the above context, the University of Peradeniya is one of the best-suited universities in Sri Lanka, which has a mandate, a will, and capabilities to tackle 21st Century challenges by embarking on multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research activities. The university, which is rich with diversity thanks to 9 faculties covering Medicine, Agriculture, Arts, Science, Engineering, Dental Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Management and Allied Health Science, has many activities to foster multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research. Out of these iPURSE 2021 – the signature conference of the University of Peradeniya takes prime place.
The iPURSE 2021 will bring together eminent scholars from numerous disciplines, providing them with a platform for sharing research-based knowledge and building partnerships and collaborations to advance scientific research and promote novel interventions in a range of fields. iPURSE 2021 invites research submissions under the broad thematic areas such as Language, Culture, and Thought; Socioeconomic Progress and Governance; Education for Transformation; Science, Technology, and Industry; The Environment and Natural Resources; Health and Society; Food, Nutrition, and Livestock; Covid-19: Issues and Solutions.
The Faculty of Arts hosts this year’s conference, and it is scheduled to be conducted in virtual mode from November 11 – 12, 2021. Prof. Chandrika N Wijeyaratne, a Senior Professor in Reproductive Medicine and Endocrinology and the 18th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo, will grace the occasion as the Chief Guest. Prof. Wimal Dissanayake, an internationally acclaimed inspiring trendsetter, currently an Affiliate Professor at the University of Hawaii, delivers the keynote address.
The iPURSE 2021 Pre-Conference Webinar Series preparing towards iPURSE 2021 representing all the nine faculties was another good example of our commitment to embracing the university’s multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research objectives. This year’s themes are Education and Transformation; Engineering Education; Sri Lankan Capital Markets; Covid-19 Pandemic; One Health; Precision Agriculture; Animal Diseases and Public Health; Vaccines and Oral Health; and Role of Healthcare Workforce.
The iPURSE 2021 will be a unique platform to host 571 abstracts all together under 8 Themes. There are 41 abstracts under the theme Covid 19: Issues and Solutions, 33 under Education for Transformation, 65 under Environment and Natural Resources, 58 under Food Nutrition and Livestock, 128 under Health and Society, 64 under Language, Culture and Thought, 156 under Science, Technology and Industry and 26 under Socioeconomic Progress and Governance.
The conference will be live-streamed. We invite everybody to join this conference and appeal to work with us to find solutions to the challenges we face today and similar challenges that are yet to come.
Link for more information and live webcast: https://www.pdn.ac.lk/ipurse/2021
Prof. Janaka B. Ekanayake
University Research Council
University of Peradeniya