I'm looking for a word that describes new ideas in a particular scientific field that aren't necessarily based on research or science but still interesting to discuss. So the word should encapsulate thinking such as: "I don't know how or if this is relevant to our field, but there's something interesting I read about and which I would like to discuss with you people."

EDIT: Or imagine a researcher reading about an interesting concept related to a completely different field/discipline/area that he thinks might be useful to discuss within his own field (for instance, the computer scientist who reads about a technique in opera singing that might be applied to computer science).

7 Answers 7


"blue sky thinking"? "Thinking outside the box"?

  • Not bad but I would prefer if it was a one-word-concept. Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 10:06

The term cross-fertilization comes to mind. Also, try intercorrelation.

  • I almost suggested cross-fertilization myself. We used to call it that when we read papers from other fields for our lab seminars.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Commented Sep 9, 2011 at 1:42


is a manner of discussing issues that are possible but not yet substantiated.


The word is "Hypothetical", and its synonyms like "Speculative." At least for what you said before your edit.

Seriously surprised no one has said hypothetical yet.

Oh, and for after your edit: "Crossdisciplinary" or "Interdisciplinary", which both have their own connotations.


Synergistic (working together in a creative, innovative, and productive manner) is often used in the context of interdisciplinary scientific initiatives where resources, methods, and ideas developed in one knowledge domain turn out to be (sometimes, unexpectedly) useful in another domain.

Note that synergy implies that the benefits/success of the new approach are either already apparent or are reasonably expected to become so. When this is not the case, new lines of enquiry may be called Alternative, or Speculative Science, but this carries less implications of the new ideas being credible at all, and/or being incorporated into an existing credible knowledge domain.


1 relating to or along a tangent. 
2 having only a slight connection or relevance; peripheral. 
3 diverging from a course.

This maybe be only tangentially related, but X


I don't know how you intend to spread the usage of this word, but how about translogia? I put together trans-, meaning “across, beyond, to go beyond”, and -logy, which is “a speaking, discourse, treatise, doctrine, theory, science”.


“The medical profession is being impacted by green thinking and translogia”.

“Bear with my translogial thinking here, but …”

“So, I've translogially adopted this idea from music theory”.

  • I want to thank you because although it doesn't fit in with the way I need to use the word, translogia is a very beautiful word. Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 11:17

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