Major advances in the fight against deadly and disabling diseases will stem from convergence-based research, a recent MIT report, Convergence: The Future of Health, argues. Convergence involves merging approaches and insights from traditionally distinct fields, such as engineering, physics, computer science, chemistry, mathematics and the life sciences.
“There are many areas ripe for discovery and innovation using a convergent approach-- from health and aging to energy, food and water to understanding the universe at large,” said France Cordova, Ph.D., director, National Science Foundation, during an event at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C. on June 24.
Realizing the full potential of a convergence revolution will require much more ambitious and strategic coordination and collaboration across industry, government, and academia, the report says. The authors emphasize one critical barrier above all-- the shortage of federal funding for convergence fields.
The report was co-chaired by Tyler Jacks, the David H. Koch Professor of Biology and director of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; Susan Hockfield, noted neuroscientist and president emerita of MIT; and Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor at MIT and Nobel laureate.
For the full report, click here.