Convergence of the life sciences with fields including physical, chemical, mathematical, computational, engineering, and social sciences is a key strategy to tackle complex challenges and achieve new and innovative solutions. However, institutions face a lack of guidance on how to establish effective programs, what challenges they are likely to encounter, and what strategies other organizations have used to address the issues that arise. This advice is needed to harness the excitement generated by the concept of convergence and channel it into the policies, structures, and networks that will enable it to realize its goals.
Convergence investigates examples of organizations that have established mechanisms to support convergent research. This report discusses details of current programs, how organizations have chosen to measure success, and what has worked and not worked in varied settings. The report summarizes the lessons learned and provides organizations with strategies to tackle practical needs and implementation challenges in areas such as infrastructure, student education and training, faculty advancement, and inter-institutional partnerships.
National Research Council. 2014. Convergence: Facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/18722.
|2 Convergence in Action||31-42|
|3 Convergence Is Informed by Research Areas with Broad Scope||43-58|
|4 Fostering Convergence in Organizations: Challenges and Strategies||59-92|
|5 Advancing Knowledge and Solving Complex Problems Through Convergence: Conclusions and Recommendations||93-106|
|Appendix A: Committee Member Biographies||115-122|
|Appendix B: Workshop on Key Challenges in the Implementation of Convergence: Agenda and Participants||123-138|
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What happens when life, physical, and computer sciences join forces with engineering? Convergence--a whole new way of doing science. This video from the National Research Council explains what convergence isâ€”and how this new approach to problem solving could open up new pathways to research advances.
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