- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
New Boost for Interdisciplinary Research
21 April 2003 (All day)
The National Academies will hold its first-ever grants competition as part of a $40 million gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation. The 15-year donation, which is intended to foster interdisciplinary research, will also put the foundation's name on the academies' new office building in Washington, D.C.
"The Futures Initiative is designed to create a powerful, ongoing forum where the best and brightest minds from across the disciplines of science, technology, and medical research can come together and ask each other, 'What if ...?' " said Robert Day, chair and chief executive officer of the W. M. Keck Foundation, in announcing the gift last week. The centerpiece of the initiative will be an invitation-only, twice-a-year conference at which scientists will generate ideas for proposals. The first, on cell signaling, will be held 14 to 15 November at the academies' West Coast offices in Irvine, California.
The conferences will be organized by a panel drawn from the membership of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, which will also review proposals. Only invited participants will be allowed to apply for one of the four $200,000 seed grants to be awarded each year. The academies will also invite officials from funding agencies to "introduce them to the culture of interdisciplinary thinking," according to a spokesperson. "The seed grants are intended to get innovative projects off the ground," says Ken Fulton, NAS executive director and head of the Futures Initiative. "Once a project gets going, the researcher can take it to a funding agency for more money."
A broader goal of the program, says Fulton, is to bring about structural changes in funding organizations and academic institutions. Toward that end, the academies are launching a study to identify shortcomings in funding procedures and policies that hinder interdisciplinary science. The initiative also includes three $20,000 awards made annually to researchers, authors, film-makers, or journalists who excel in communicating science to the public.