Not long before the end of his second term in office, he identified the “material-industrial complex” as a network problem: “… These relationships include political contributions, political approval for military spending, lobbies to support bureaucracies and industry monitoring mechanisms; or more generally, they cover the entire network of contacts, contractors and flows of money between individuals, companies and institutions of a civilian and military nature, including the Pentagon, the Congress and the executive … “
In 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to the military-industrial complex as an adaptive networked monster. The idea of complex adaptive systems has become useful for scientific approaches to persistent phenomena that do not work “naturally” in the direction of foreseeable equilibria. Examples are the internet, weather, climate, industries, economies, financial systems, cultures, jurisdictions, legal domains, sciences and religions, and their coalitions / secessions.
If it is true that complex adaptive systems are dynamically evolving networks of different units, have identity, share a goal, span different aggregation levels that enable feedback and therefore show behavior that is difficult to predict at every level, then universities are also complex adaptive systems . And so the difficulties that we can observe in attempts to collaborate between divergent disciplines constitute valid, even urgent material for study.