Addressing Diverse Motivations to Enable Bioinspired Design

William C. Barley, Luisa Ruge-Jones, Aimy Wissa, Andrew V. Suarez, Marianne Alleyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bioinspired design (BID) is an inherently interdisciplinary practice that connects fundamental biological knowledge with the capabilities of engineering solutions. This paper discusses common social challenges inherent to interdisciplinary research, and specific to collaborating across the disciplines of biology and engineering when practicing BID.We also surface best practices that members of the community have identified to help address these challenges. To accomplish this goal, we address challenges of bioinspiration through a lens of recent findings within the social scientific study of interdisciplinary teams. We propose three challenges faced in BID: (1) complex motivations across collaborating researchers, (2) misperceptions of relationships and benefits between biologists and engineers, and (3) institutionalized barriers that disincentivize interdisciplinary work. We advance specific recommendations for addressing each of these challenges.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1192-1201
Number of pages10
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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