WASHINGTON -- Advances in medicine and biotechnology -- from the sequencing of the human genome to the development of small chips to detect cancer in the bloodstream -- were driven largely by scientists coming together from diverse disciplines to work on common problems. But a blue ribbon panel said here Tuesday that these advances also signify something larger: the creation of a new model -- dubbed "convergence" -- in which engineering and physical sciences, among other disciplines, join forces with the life sciences.
Hungarian-born physicist Edward Teller was among the great scientists of the 20th century, but his legacy is, at best, a checkered one. Made famous by his work on thermonuclear weapons -- Teller is known as the "father of the hydrogen bomb" -- Teller gained notoriety when he testified against his former colleague J. Robert Oppenheimer in the hearing that ultimately cost Oppenheimer his security clearance. Teller continued to embroil himself in controversy -- generally pertaining to thermonuclear weapons and other defense issues -- throughout his life.
New research suggests that female students in STEM fields may be more likely to stay in the disciplines if they are taught by women or exposed to women who are succeeding. (And male students may benefit, too.)