In academia, interdisciplinarity has become a watchword for many individuals, groups and institutions internationally. It is so well established that the features of interdisciplinary discourse(s) have themselves become the focus of investigation 1 . Academics worldwide are encouraged to take part in interdisciplinary projects (e.g. my institution has a funding stream dedicated to seed funding projects ‘that will deliver on King’s multi and inter disciplinary vision for research’ 2 ); many academic institutions and departments explicitly integrate interdisciplinarity in their research agenda; the media report on the implications of doing interdisciplinary research from a career perspective (e.g. Byrne 2014); and research funding bodies promote their interdisciplinary funding opportunities, e.g. the ESRC mission statement includes a section entitled ‘Interdisciplinarity’ 3 (my emphasis):


As part of our portfolio, we also expect to support new and exciting research which combines approaches from more than one discipline. We recognise that many of the most pressing research challenges are interdisciplinary in nature, both within the social sciences and between the social sciences and other areas of research. However, we also remain committed to the support of excellent research within a single discipline.