Convergence: Facilitating Transdisciplinary Integration of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Beyond
Committee on Key Challenge Areas for Convergence and Health; Board on Life Sciences; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council
Convergence among life and health sciences, physical sciences, engineering,and beyond offers the promise of new modes of knowledge creation and production that will stimulate innovation, economic development, and societal problem solving. Many stakeholders in the ecosystem needed for convergence to occur—students and faculty members, academic leaders, practitioners in industry and clinical settings, and representatives of funding agencies, foundations, and the business development community—are already engaged in convergent research and in efforts to nurture it in organizational settings. But challenges remain, including the need to broaden the range of those engaged in convergence efforts. The time is now to bring attention to convergence and to channel that momentum into the practical policies and structures that will enable it to realize its full potential to help transform our world in the 21st century.