When Keivan Stassun arrived at Vanderbilt University’s department of physics and astronomy in 2003 as an assistant professor, he saw neighboring, historically black Fisk University as an obvious collaborator. The two institutions are two miles apart in Nashville. “Look, we have two good things here and they’re practically touching," he recalls thinking. "There must be something we can do with what we’ve got.”
Within three days of the BP oil spill, Joe Griffit was out in the Gulf of Mexico taking water samples to begin assessing the damage. As an assistant professor of coastal sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi, Griffit says he’s been eager to assist in the restoration efforts taking shape in the region. So when lawyers representing BP came to Griffit with an offer -- help us assess the damage and find a way to restore what’s been destroyed -- Griffit says the option was “initially very attractive” to him and some of his colleagues.
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.