When worlds collide: Molecular biology as interdisciplinary collaboration
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
The field of molecular biology is in a remarkably rapid period of change, as the genome sequencing projects and new experimental technologies have generated an explosion of data To analyze and draw insights from the vast amounts of information, biologists use a new generation of bioinformatics software tools, often working closely with mathematicians and computer scientists There are elements of both collision and convergence in these interdisciplinary encounters We conducted user studies with biologists engaged in investigating the molecular basis of disease. We describe several issues that arise in this collision/convergence of disciplines, drawing on the notion of boundary objects m-the-makmg. We provide recommendations on building technology for people whose work now sits at the crossroads of diverse and rapidly changing scientific fields.