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One of QUEST’s guiding principles was integration.  Advances in interdisciplinary Earth System science may be made much more rapidly given sustained cooperation by scientists from different specialist backgrounds, institutions and cultures.  QUEST was set up explicitly to encourage such cooperation.

QUEST operated a programme of collaborative interdisciplinary research, investing in multi-institution consortium projects and supporting working groups and other activities that respond to today’s scientific challenges.  It explicitly tackled the interfaces between many science themes (in land, atmospheric and marine domains; modelling and observations; palaeoclimate and the contemporary Earth; natural and human sciences).  The consortium approach fostered new research relationships that will improve understanding of the Earth System. 

QUEST believes that the cooperative relationships needed for scientific integration thrive best in a setting of openness and fairness, in which interaction is facilitated through the clear definition of working policies, an agreed schedule of key activities, and transparent and accessibly-documented decision and delivery processes. [See associates login]