Vision of a Strategic Innovation for Biological Sciences

Network News Fall 2012, Vol. 25 No. 3
ASM Reports
Presented by John C. Wingfield, the National Science Foundation (NSF)

“Many of the challenges that face us in the next 50 years have a biological basis…the earth’s climate and life support systems are changing in unusual and unexpected ways.”

At the University of California-Davis College of Biological Sciences, where he is Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, John C. Wingfield's work focuses on the neural end endocrine mechanisms underlying organism-environment interactions. His research also interfaces with how animals deal with global climate change, endocrine disruption and conservation biology.

In his presentation, Wingfield, who is the Assistant Director for Biological Sciences at NSF, noted that many of the challenges facing humanity in the next 50 years have a biological basis. He acknowledged that NSF funds a lot of fundamental biology, but the import and relevance of this research to everyday human life is sometimes lost. He challenged LTER and the biological sciences community to do a better job of raising the profile of what they do in order to continue attracting funding support.

Wingfield then laid down NSF’s vision of Strategic Innovation for Biological Sciences (SIBS), which will provide a foundation for the future of biology and unite smaller vulnerable programs in a new infrastructure.

Watch Dr. Winfgfield’s presentation, Vision of a Strategic Innovation for Biological Sciences.

By McOwiti O. Thomas (LNO)