Published on 13 November 2023
Share Tweet  Share

The world’s problems are interdisciplinary – why is academic research so siloed?

Rory Cellan-Jones talks to Ingela Alger (IAST) and Flavio Toxvaerd (University of Cambridge) about the drivers of research silos, the merits of conducting interdisciplinary research and how to overcome disciplinary divides.

This episode takes a look at why academic research is trapped in research silos. Ingela Alger (IAST) and Flavio Toxvaerd (University of Cambridge) talk to Rory Cellan-Jones, about the challenges faced in conducting interdisciplinary research. They emphasize the significant benefits that interdisciplinarity can bring and share insight into how to foster an interdisciplinary research culture for better results. 

Listen to this episode on your preferred podcast platform

Season 3 Episode 2 transcript

For more information about this podcast series and the work of the institutes, visit our websites at and

Tweet us with your thoughts at @BennettInst and @IASToulouse.

With thanks to:

  • Audio production – Steve Hankey
  • Associate production –  Stella Erker
  • Visuals – Tiffany Naylor

More about our host and guests:

Rory Cellan-Jones was a technology correspondent for the BBC. His 40 years in journalism have seen him take a particular interest in the impact of the internet and digital technology on society and business. He has also written multiple books, including his latest “Always On” which was published in 2021. @ruskin147

Ingela Alger is a CNRS Senior Scientist (DR) in Economics, and the current Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) as well as the Chair of the Department in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her research, which has been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as the American Economic Review, Econometrica, and PNAS, focuses on the evolutionary foundations of human preferences, when these are transmitted from generation to generation and are subject to selection. She is particularly interested in the evolutionary foundations of morality and distributional preferences, as well as preferences guiding family-related behaviors. She has been awarded numerous grants, notably ANR Chaire d’Excellence 2012-2017, and ERC Advanced Grant 2019-2023. In 2022 she was awarded the CNRS Silver Medal. @ingelaalger 

Flavio Toxvaerd is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, a Fellow of Clare College and an Affiliated Researcher with the Bennett Institute for Public Policy. He serves as UKRI Policy Fellow in Competition and Productivity Economics with the Competition and Markets Authority. His research and teaching interests are in microeconomics and game theory with applications, including industrial organisation, competition policy and economic epidemiology. @toxvaerd1

If you enjoyed this podcast then check out:

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

Back to Top