Science is a living social system with multiple forces that influence its success, so all pieces must be considered to ensure that the system will thrive. Four themes in particular emerged repeatedly in response to the three key questions asked during the exploratory conversations. Underscoring all of the opportunities and challenges was a desire that we consider how to do the following things. By the way, please take a look at wood level and the Best Woodworking Books to support us.
Ensure a Dynamic and Thriving Science
A collaborative and adaptable scientific community will be able to respond to emerging challenges.
Build Public Understanding of Science As a Tool Used by Society
Science is an important element of society, with many benefits and potential risks. There is a need for science to have a relationship with the public that is built on trust in the power of the processes of science to provide reliable information that makes decision-making smarter and easier.
Build an Effective and Diverse Professional Community
The scientific workforce needs multiple talents and diverse perspectives to advance research, education, and communication of science with society in innovative ways.
Inform Public Policy Through Effective Relationships with Policymakers.
Policymakers need access to vetted information on which they can base informed decisions that balance the potential benefits and risks of new scientific developments with the needs of society.
If we consider these four results as the key elements at the root of a thriving societal scientific endeavor, how do we get there? How might we reconsider how we, the research community, reinforce, recognize, and promote professionals for their contributions? How do we organize research and educational units and professional teams? How do we educate students to be prepared to engage in this new, multidisciplinary world of modern biology? How do we assess what diverse skills and perspectives are required to advance science? Finally, how do we train the diverse community of professionals needed to communicate science to the public?
These are the types of questions and framework that will empower us to leverage the opportunities created by a changing science and society to reconfigure our living social system in a way that will increase our over- all success at building a thriving life sciences endeavor. It is clear that we are not starting with a blank slate. The life sciences have self-organized and evolved to become a complex and dynamic professional system with deep roots and long-held practices that may or may not work toward the outcomes that we really want to achieve. The life sciences have a rich professional culture of expectations and risk aversion, many stakeholders and professional entities that influence success, and a professional training system that is difficult to change. In listening to our interview respondents and the subsequent discussion among the leaders, there were three particularly sticky issues that are worth noting as obstacles that require extra investment by life scientists.
There is An Imperative For a Cross-cutting Life Science Community
The four challenge themes that emerged through AIBS’s exploratory conversations are ones that are shared broadly by the varied sub-disciplinary communities of the biological sciences. The needs of the biological sciences require that a broad view be maintained and communicated effectively; common outcomes be shared; and success be measured through a coordinated, cooperative leadership. To seize the opportunities available to us, how will the life sciences stimulate leadership to create a stronger, more cooperative community.
Benefit in Reducing Barriers to Ensure Opportunities For Innovation at The Interfaces
Life sciences research is unlimited by borders, but borders are common in our cur- rent structure. How do we promote robust basic research alongside cooperative, innovative, creative, new models in which we embrace the trans-disciplinary nature of science? Beyond developing specific scientific skill sets, how do we recognize and prepare all types of professional scientists to advance science through communication and advocacy at public interfaces? To rapidly embrace the opportunities of today and tomorrow’s science, how can we be fearless about trying new tactics to reach our desired outcomes?
Empower The Public with The Tools and Information of Science
Most of the individuals who were inter- viewed during our exploratory conversations consider the public to be the most significant stakeholders in our science. They also expressed concern about the risks that emerge when the public is disconnected from the con- text of science in society and lacks an understanding and appreciation for how science works, what scientists do, and why science matters. There is a need for a relationship with the public that is built on trust in the power of the processes of science to provide reliable information that makes decision-making smarter and easier. A high priority of the scientific community should be to increase public understanding of how to be an informed participant in the processes of science. That mes- sage should resound not just from scientists but through all of the professionals who bring science to the public using their diverse talents. How do we improve communication with our most valuable stakeholders to ensure that science benefits society and that the public supports science?