Advancing Science: Discovery to Application
In extraordinary times, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) must come together to advance science with particular force. This conviction is in the organization’s DNA. In 1851, AAAS’ third president Alexander Dallas Bache said, “While science is without organization, it is without power.” Now, as then, we must work together with renewed energy across the full spectrum of the scientific enterprise—and across the sectors that advance it.
The scientific enterprise embraces a broad spectrum of activities, from fundamental research to advanced applications. Academia, government, and industry all perform critical roles in moving ideas into innovations. The demands of the twenty-first century, including improved access to sufficient food, clean water, sustainable energy, and health care, can only be met by accelerating discovery and the translation of discovery into applications. Robust, sustained investments across the full spectrum of the scientific enterprise are essential for developing products that improve the human condition and drive economic growth. We can speed progress by amplifying collaboration across sectors and disciplines. What new avenues for interaction between basic and applied research might be explored? How can we encourage broader participation from every sector and demographic to meet today’s needs and to help invent the future?