The Beauty, Benefits, and Challenges of Transformative Research

Monday, February 18, 2013: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room 308 (Hynes Convention Center)
Over the last decade, scientists and science policy-makers have argued that the current science and technology research portfolio has become too conservative and encourages only incremental advances. In consequence, a number of government and privately funded programs, especially in the United States and Europe, have begun to support pioneering or “transformative” research -- research that has the potential to radically change our understanding of science, shifting paradigms and opening avenues of innovation. While the goal of promoting potentially transformative research is widely shared, the means to do so range from supporting exceptional individuals (e.g., the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Pioneer program) or small groups (e.g., the European Research Council’s Synergy Program or the U.S. National Science Foundation’s CREATIV program) through building transformative centers or instruments, such as the synthesis centers that catalyze distinctive forms of research collaboration, or instruments such as the Large Hadron Collider. This symposium will explore the promise and challenge of transformative research, specifically addressing policy and program design, peer review and selection, research collaboration, and assessment. Doing so will initiate a “science of transformative research” that will improve understanding of scientific change, inform policy, and guide practice from the level of program design and management to collaborative organization and process. 
Edward J. Hackett, Arizona State University
James P. Collins, Arizona State University
Bhavya Lal, Science and Technology Policy Institute
The Myths and Realities of Transformative Research
Terttu Luukkonen, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy
Role of Peer Review in Supporting Transformative Research
John N. Parker, Arizona State University; Stephanie E. Hampton, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Ecology Transformed: NCEAS and Organizing for Synthesis
See more of: Public Policy
See more of: Symposia