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What defines good science?

What defines good science?

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What defines good science?

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  1. What defines good science? • Science must continually generate innovative new ideas and technologies. • We must therefore focus much more intensely on stimulating and rewarding innovation and risktaking.

  2. How best to stimulate innovation? In attempting to address this question, it is important to recognize how new knowledge arises

  3. http://www.BeyondDiscovery.org

  4. Timeline for Global Positioning System (GPS) www.BeyondDiscovery.org

  5. Timeline continued www.BeyondDiscovery.org

  6. RESULT 1985 1980 Barry & Alberts etc. etc. 1970 Wood et al Marmur & Doty Epstein & Edgar TIME Kornberg et al Delbruck et al 1960 Watson & Crick Radioisotopes in biology 1950 My field from 1950-1985 How do productive ideas in science arise? A personal example

  7. THE FUNDAMENTAL REASON FOR THE EXPLOSIVE GROWTH OF SCIENCE 100 units of knowledge can be combined in 100 times more ways than can 10 units of knowledge

  8. RESULT RESULT 1985 2020 1980 Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts etc. etc. Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts 1970 Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Wood et al Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Marmur & Doty TIME TIME Epstein & Edgar Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Kornberg et al Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Delbruck et al 1960 Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Watson & Crick Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Radioisotopes in biology Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts 1950 1985 Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts Barry & Alberts My field in 1985 - 2020 My field in 1950 - 1985

  9. But there is a catch! As knowledge grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the right combinations

  10. The source of creativity in science To create consists precisely in not making useless combinations and in making those which are useful and which are only a small minority. Invention is discernment, choice… Among chosen combinations the most fertile will often be those formed of elements drawn from domains which are far apart. … The true work of the inventor consists in choosing among these combinations so as to eliminate the useless ones. Henri Poincaré 1908

  11. A problem: the channeling of research topics due to “training inertia” decades Unexplored experimental spaces Overcrowded experimental spaces

  12. How then should research be organized to stimulate innovation? • Here I will give you my personal view, based on my 40 years in universities.

  13. Structuring institutions to maximize innovation • In general, we should encourage our institutions to support a set of laboratories of modest size (9 to 12 people, maximum), each headed by an outstanding, innovative independent investigator. • These laboratories should be clustered, embedded in a cooperative culture in which techniques and equipment are freely shared. • Our reward systems must change to strongly encourage risk taking and originality. • And everything must be done to encourage a random collision of people and ideas.

  14. Where I am now: UCSF new Mission Bay Campus in San Francisco

  15. Another part of my education at the Academy: recognition of the critical importance of Science for all !

  16. Lake Victoria, western Kenya, 1998

  17. Pondicherry, India, 2000

  18. Village “knowledge worker” using wireless internet

  19. A “science franchise” that produces parasitic moths