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Cover of Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences

Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences


Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-14751-4ISBN-10: 0-309-14751-4


Today, while it still is convenient to classify most research in the natural sciences as either biological or physical, more and more scientists are quite deliberately and consciously addressing problems lying at the intersection of these traditional areas. This report focuses on their efforts. As directed by the charges in the statement of task (see Appendix A), the goals of the committee in preparing this report are several fold. The first goal is to provide a conceptual framework for assessing work in this area—that is, a sense of coherence for those not engaged in this research about the big objectives of the field and why it is worthy of attention from fellow scientists and programmatic focus by funding agencies. The second goal is to assess current work using that framework and to point out some of the more promising opportunities for future efforts, such as research that could significantly benefit society. The third and final goal of the report is to set out strategies for realizing those benefits—ways to enable and enhance collaboration so that the United States can take full advantage of the opportunities at this intersection.


This project was supported by the Department of Energy under Award No. DE-FG02-07ER46378, the National Science Foundation under Award No. CHE-0554275, the Department of Health and Human Services under Award No. N01-OD-4-2139, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund under Award No. 1007560, and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement under Award No. 7827.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright © 2010, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK45116PMID: 20845552
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