In memorium

Dan

We are sorely missing one of our most core members of the team.  Dan Schoenfeld passed away unexpectedly in his sleep this week from an undetected aortic blockage and heart enlargement.  He has been a foundational contributor – holding our vision with great candor and commitment, whilst also providing every detail of technical, strategic as well as in-the-trenches hard work.

We, and the scientific and engineering world, have lost a true friend and passionate champion and compatriot.

I hope we are able to carry on your torch in a manner you would be delighted by.

Fondest Memories-

Kennan and the ReImagine Science team

Team Science Training Survey – the raw numbers

Science 'UnSummit' 2012, part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington DC

We posted a question to our network of science leaders, practitioners, policy makers, and consultants.

The question:

ReImagine Science (formerly Yámana Science and Technology) is celebrating seven years of effort to assist the science and technology sectors in building a future that efficiently serves the planet, society and scientists to our highest capability.

Institutions like the National Academy of Sciences have formally identified a need to support scientists in their ability to create and maintain strongly cross-functional teams in their ‘science of team science’ study area (see http://bit.ly/sciteamsci).

Now, under our new name of Re-Imagine Science, we are launching an incubator to provide the training necessary to richly engage scientists in ‘team science.’ We would like to find out from you who you think our best target participant group might be.

We then asked respondents to rank the following potential participant groups:

  1. undergraduate students
  2. graduate students
  3. post-doctoral scholars
  4. early-career scientists
  5. mid-career scientists
  6. senior scientists or
  7. other (who?)

Over 70 people responded.  This survey was not intended to be a statistically relevant assessment of the scientific community’s beliefs.  It was initiated to learn from our highly respected network, and to begin a conversation within the various universities, scientific organizations, and policy setting communities we intersect with.

The top three rankings are depicted below – graphing the choices for top rank, second, then third.

Survey results

First Choice of respondents (by category)

survey results

Second Choice of respondents (by category)

Survey results

Third Choice of respondents (by category)

We found the most frequent selection in the top three rankings were graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and early career scientists.  However, very cogent arguments were made for mid-career and senior scientists, even by some who did not rank them in the top three.  The comments given were that individuals from these cohorts would have the most impact, but may be hard to reach or affect.  For most, the target population they chose coincided with the career level of scientists that person works with directly.  We read this as affirmation of the sense of need for skill development in collaboration and team-work across all domains of science.  Indeed, cogent arguments came in for nearly all phases of scientists’ career trajectories.  We will follow this article with expanded discussion of each potential target group.

Change the Conversation; Making a Qualitatively Different Future

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CwahGcEiAr0“>http://

Though this interview of Peter Block is focused on citizen engagement and city managers, the same principles hold true in any group of people that have a purpose.

As scientists gather together to hack the future of science, to create policy recommendations, to choose our path going into the future, the recommendation of Peter Block to hold off problem solving and solution sets as long as possible would be a key input to process.

To paraphrase, if you want to create a much stronger, visionary, future – one where science is connected deeply to society and participating in ‘turning the ship around’ for ecosystem health, human health, and innovations that truly serve, you have to change the conversation.

We think change from within is the formula for science

Tana Paddock talks to Anita Nowak in this interview about social change work.  This is part of a course series for the ‘GROOC’ out of McGill University

McGillX: GROOCx Social Learning for Social Impact

Tana Paddock interview

Tana Paddock talks about Organization UnBound

Tana Paddock talks about Organization UnBound

Tana talks about bringing the whole person to the workplace, in a process she calls ‘inscaping.’ How we experience each other through our work has a tremendous impact on our ability
to affect change- including and perhaps most especially in our scientific contributions.

Sean Carroll and E.O. Wilson have a conversation on saving the planet….and the (potential) role of scientists

Next step

A recent post from Wellcome Trust on their Mosaic blog quotes evolutionary biologist Sean Carroll talking about scientists who take on the biodiversity issue as an existential crisis, worthy of hitting the streets for (see http://mosaicscience.com/story/wilson-and-carroll).

Kappy Wells, an artist who resides in New Mexico, has dedicated artwork depicting the melting glaciers in Greenland to support several ecologically focused NGOs.  At her opening night, she talked with our Executive Director Kennan Salinero about her travels to Greenland with her son and two scientists who were studying glacier melt and climate changes.  What struck her was the scientists she was traveling with did not consider emotion, personal response, or their opinion about the issue to be in their bailiwick.

However, we know of several groups that have been founded on college campuses for the educational process to include impact work.

Elizabeth Gerber’s student-lead Design for America, Berkeley’s Science Shop, and Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS) are examples of young scientists working to create impact in their global communities.

Given the large declines in fresh water and arable land, loss of ice shelf mass, dramatic losses in many oceanic fish populations (and, conversely, population explosions for jelly fish), population losses in the 90% range for large animals like lions and elephants, scientists that bring their passion and presence to the ‘big picture’ are much-needed.

Rescuing Biomedical Science: ASBMB hosts stakeholder meeting at annual conference

ASBMB HeaderAgenda ASBMB

“Rescuing Biomedical Science from its Systemic Flaws”  by Bruce Alberts, Marc Kirschner, Shirley Tilghman and Harold Varmus noted the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology would be hosting a panel discussion of key stakeholder representatives on April 27, 2014 at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, so we got ourselves invited.

The room at the San Diego Conference center reserved for this panel presentation was fairly well populated, but certainly not packed.

Attendees showed a great deal of interest in the material presented by the panelists, particularly those of Paula Stephan, who authored the book “How Economics Shapes Science,” which she writes about here.

As people stepped up to the microphone, they suggested solutions – ones that would solve a particular facet of this multi-faceted issue.

We feel there is a place for a bigger umbrella to envelope not only issues of workforce employment and grant levels, but to connect to the larger picture of society, as well as societal hopes and dreams for what science can bring to the table.  The large, complex, and accelerating number of global challenges bespeak a seemingly bottomless set of problems for our next generation(s) of scientists – scientists that would be well served by unfettered creativity and problem-based collaborative approaches.