The Ibn Khaldon Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences at Qatar University (QU) organised the annual conference on interdisciplinary research, covering seven themes.
They are Interdisciplinary Studies between Social Sciences and Natural Sciences: Philosophy and Reality, Sociology and Natural Sciences, Politics and International Relations and Natural Sciences, Economics and Natural Sciences, Islamic Sciences and Natural Sciences, Psychology and Natural Sciences, and finally Pedagogics and Natural Sciences.
The aim is to promote interdisciplinary research among the social sciences, including economics, politics, international relations, education, management, psychology, sociology, religion, anthropology, and public health. There is vital need to integrate social sciences with natural sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, medicine, mathematics, artificial intelligence) in a clear interdisciplinary research paradigm to solve key societal challenges.
In her welcome speech, QU vice president for research and graduate studies, Prof Mariam al-Maadeed, said the conference which has brought together scholars from various fields, constitutes a scientific platform through which researchers from social and natural sciences can collaborate to acquire significant intellectual gains and obtain new perspectives on their research.
In his keynote speech, Dr. Nayef bin Nahar, director of the Ibn Khaldon Centre, spoke about "the importance of linking the natural sciences and the social sciences, but warned that their relationship is vital and dangerous at the same time, because the development of such a theory is not easy, especially in the Arab world, where we see a sharp and decisive separation between disciplines, and therefore researchers who have the ability to go beyond this separation should consider other disciplines to bridge the relationship.”
Dr Nayef presented the prevailing idea among a large number of people that the natural sciences are clearly different from the social sciences, because “the social sciences study man, man has a will, will means freedom, freedom means multiple options, and therefore it is difficult to predict in social sciences; while the natural sciences study matter, matter means laws, and laws mean inevitability.”
Dr Nayef bin Nahar
Prof Mariam al-Madeed