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The Power of 'convergence'

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Christine Daniloff

A new model for scientific research known as "convergence" offers the potential for revolutionary advances in biomedicine and other areas of science, according to a white paper issued today by 12 leading MIT researchers. The white paper, presented earlier this week at a forum hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), says the U.S. should capitalize on the trend of convergence—which involves the merger of life, physical and engineering sciences—to foster the innovation necessary to meet the growing demand for accessible, affordable health care.

"Convergence is a broad rethinking of how all scientific research can be conducted, so that we capitalize on a range of knowledge bases, from microbiology to computer science to engineering design," MIT Institute Professor and Nobel Laureate Phillip Sharp, one of the report's authors, told the AAAS forum.

"It entails collaboration among research groups but, more deeply, the integration of disciplinary approaches that were originally viewed as separate and distinct. This merging of technologies, processes and devices into a unified whole will create new pathways and opportunities for scientific and technological advancement."

From MIT News Office
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