Interdisciplinary research has been a popular idea with many people in the last 20 years. Academic administrators have admonished their faculty to become more interdisciplinary. Students often request the chance to pursue an interdisciplinary degree. While the issue of managing interdisciplinary projects has received a fair amount of attention by those interested in science management, interdisciplinary research has received little attention from historians, philosophers or sociologists of science or from scientists themselves. Yet, there l;lre a number of cases within the life sciences where researchers have been actively engaged in endeavors that take them across disciplinary boundaries. These are ripe for investigation by those interested in the process of science. To provide an in-depth study of some historical or contemporary cases of cross disciplinary research activity in the life sciences, a conference was held at Georgia State University in May, 1984. This conference was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (U. S. A. ) through their research conference program. Over a three-day period historians, philosophers, and researchers who were actively engaged in various of the life sciences discussed specific examples of interdisciplinary research and tried to analyze what was needed for successful crossing of disciplinary boundaries. After the conference, each of the participants revised their original presentations, partly in light of the discussion at the conference. The papers in this volume are the fruits of that endeavor.