Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
THE FUTURE OF Complex Systems HUMAN HEALTHSPAN Task Group summaries Demography, Evolution, Medicine, and Bioengineering TA S K G R O U P S U M M A R I E S Conference Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center Irvine, California November 13 â15, 2008
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESSâ 500 Fifth Street, N.W.â Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The task group summaries in this publication are based on task group discus- sions during the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference on Complex Systems held at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California, November 13-15, 2008. The discussions in these groups were summarized by the authors and reviewed by the members of each task group. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the task groups and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. For more information on the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative visit www.keckfutures.org. Funding for the activity that led to this publication was provided by the W.M. Keck Foundation. Based in Los Angeles, the W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundationâs grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of science and engineer- ing research; undergraduate education; medical research; and Southern California. Each grant program invests in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and for the future. For more information visit www.wmkeck.org. International Standard Book Number-13:â 978-0-309-13725-6 International Standard Book Number-10:â 0-309-13725-X Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a man- date that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the Na- tional Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES KECK FUTURES INITIATIVE COMPLEX SYSTEMS STEERING COMMITTEE H. EUGENE STANLEY (Chair) (NAS), University Professor, Professor of Physics, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Physiology (School of Medicine) and Director, Center for Polymer Studies, Boston University ALBERT-LÃSZLÃ BARABÃSI, Distinguished University Professor, Center for Complex Network Research, Department of Physics, Northeastern University; Department of Medicine, Harvard University JAMES B. BASSINGTHWAIGHTE (NAE), Professor of Bioengineering and Radiology, University of Washington BONNIE L. BASSLER (NAS), Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor of Molecular Biology, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University DAVID K. CAMPBELL, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering and Provost, Boston University SALLIE W. CHISHOLM (NAS), Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JAMES S. LANGER (NAS), Professor, Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara SIMON A. LEVIN (NAS), George M. Moffett Professor of Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University M. ELISABETH PATÃ-CORNELL (NAE), Burt and DeeDee McMurtry Professor and Chair, Department of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University MICHAEL A. SAVAGEAU (IOM), Distinguished Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Microbiology Graduate Group, The University of California, Davis DAVID VALLE (IOM), Henry J. Knott Professor and Director, McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University MARC VIDAL, Director, Center for Cancer Systems Biology and Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard Medical School
Staff KENNETH R. FULTON, Executive Director KIMBERLY A. SUDA-BLAKE, Program Director ANNE HEBERGER, Senior Evaluation Associate RACHEL LESINSKI, Program Associate vi
The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative was launched in 2003 to stimulate new modes of scientific inquiry and break down the conceptual and institutional barriers to interdisciplinary research. The National Acad- emies and the W. M. Keck Foundation believe that considerable scientific progress will be achieved by providing a counterbalance to the tendency to isolate research within academic fields. The Futures Initiative is designed to enable scientists from different disciplines to focus on new questions, upon which they can base entirely new research, and to encourage and reward outstanding communication between scientists as well as between the sci- entific enterprise and the public. The Futures Initiative includes three main components: Futures Conferences The Futures Conferences bring together some of the nationâs best and brightest researchers from academic, industrial, and government labora- tories to explore and discover interdisciplinary connections in important areas of cutting-edge research. Each year, some 150 outstanding research- ers are invited to discuss ideas related to a single cross-disciplinary theme. Participants gain not only a wider perspective but also, in many instances, new insights and techniques that might be applied in their own work. Ad- vii
viii THE national academies keck futures initiative ditional pre- or post-conference meetings build on each theme to foster further communication of ideas. Selection of each yearâs theme is based on assessments of where the intersection of science, engineering, and medical research has the greatest potential to spark discovery. The first conference explored Signals, Deci- sions, and Meaning in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering. The 2004 conference focused on Designing Nanostructures at the Interface between Biomedical and Physical Systems. The theme of the 2005 conference was The Genomic Revolution: Implications for Treatment and Control of Infectious Dis- ease. In 2006 the conference focused on Smart Prosthetics: Exploring Assistive Devices for the Body and Mind. In 2007 the conference explored The Future of Human Healthspan: Demography, Evolution, Medicine and Bioengineering. In 2008 the conference focused on Complex Systems and the 2009 confer- ence will explore Synthetic Biology. Futures Grants The Futures Grants provide seed funding to Futures Conference partici- pants, on a competitive basis, to enable them to pursue important new ideas and connections stimulated by the conferences. These grants fill a critical missing link between bold new ideas and major federal funding programs, which do not currently offer seed grants in new areas that are considered risky or exotic. These grants enable researchers to start developing a line of inquiry by supporting the recruitment of students and postdoctoral fellows, the purchase of equipment, and the acquisition of preliminary dataâwhich in turn can position the researchers to compete for larger awards from other public and private sources. National Academies Communication Awards The Communication Awards are designed to recognize, promote, and encourage effective communication of science, engineering, medicine, and interdisciplinary work within and beyond the scientific community. Each year the Futures Initiative awards $20,000 prizes to those who have advanced the publicâs understanding and appreciation of science, engi- neering, and/or medicine. The awards are given in four categories: books, newspaper/magazine, online/Internet, and TV/radio/film. The winners are honored during Futures Conferences. NAKFI cultivates science writers of the future by inviting graduate
THE national academies keck futures initiative ix students from six science writing programs across the country to attend the conference and develop task group discussion summaries and a conference overview for publication in this book. Students are selected by the depart- ment director or designee, and prepare for the conference by reviewing the Webcast tutorials and suggested reading, and selecting a task group in which they would like to participate. Students then work with NAKFIâs science writing student mentor to finalize their reports following the conferences. Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research Study During the first 18 months of the Keck Futures Initiative, the Acad- emies undertook a study on facilitating interdisciplinary research. The study examined the current scope of interdisciplinary efforts and provided recommendations as to how such research can be facilitated by funding or- ganizations and academic institutions. Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research (2005) is available from the National Academies Press (www.nap.edu) in print and free PDF versions. About the National Academies The National Academies comprise the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, which perform an unparalleled public service by bringing together experts in all areas of science and technology, who serve as volunteers to address critical national issues and offer unbiased advice to the federal government and the public. For more information, visit www. nationalacademies.org. About the W. M. Keck Foundation Based in Los Angeles, the W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundationâs grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of science and engineering; undergraduate education; medical research; and Southern California. Each grant program invests in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and in the future. For more information visit www.wmkeck.org.
THE national academies keck futures initiative National Academies Keck Futures Initiative 100 Academy Irvine, CA 92617 949-721-2270 (Phone) 949-721-2216 (Fax) www.keckfutures.org
Preface At the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conference on Complex Systems, participants were divided into twelve interdisciplinary working groups. The groups spent nine hours over two days exploring diverse challenges at the interface of science, engineering, and medicine. The composition of the groups was intentionally diverse, to encourage the generation of new approaches by combining a range of different types of contributions. The groups included researchers from science, engineering, and medicine, as well as representatives from private and public funding agencies, universities, businesses, journals, and the science media. Research- ers represented a wide range of experienceâfrom postdoc to those well established in their careersâfrom a variety of disciplines that included sci- ence and engineering, medicine, physics, biology, math/computer science, behavioral science and economics/finance. The groups needed to address the challenge of communicating and working together from a diversity of expertise and perspectives as they attempted to solve complicated, interdisciplinary problems in a relatively short time. Each group decided on its own structure and approach to tackle the problem. Some groups decided to refine or redefine their problems based on their experience. Each group presented two brief reports to all participants: (1) an in- terim report on Friday to debrief on how things were going, along with any special requests; and (2) a final briefing on Saturday, when each group: xi
xii PREFACE â¢ Provided a concise statement of the problem. â¢ Outlined a structure for its solution. â¢ Identified the most important gaps in science and technology and recommended research areas needed to attack the problem. â¢ Indicated the benefits to society if the problem could be solved. Each task group included a graduate student in a university science writing program. Based on the group interaction and the final briefings, the students wrote the following summaries, which were reviewed by the group members. These summaries describe the problem and outline the approach taken, including what research needs to be done to understand the funda- mental science behind the challenge, the proposed plan for engineering the application, the reasoning that went into it and the benefits to society of the problem solution. Due to the popularity of some topics, two groups were assigned to explore the subjects. Nine webcast tutorials were held in September to help bridge the gaps in terminology used by the various disciplines. Participants had the oppor- tunity to ask questions of the webcast speakers during the live broadcast in September and the panel discussion, which took place immediately prior to the task group breakout sessions.
Contents Conference Summary 1 TASK GROUP SUMMARIES 1. How would you design the acquisition and organization of the data required to completely model human biology? 5 2. What does it take to achieve a sustainable future? The problem of the commons: achieving a sustainable quality of life. 3. How can we enhance the robustness via interconnectivity? 19 Task Group Summary, Group A, 21 Task Group Summary, Group B, 26 4. Can engineering systems and control approaches generate new strategies for altering imbalanced macrophage profiles in human disease? 33 5. How can social networks aid our understanding of complexity? 41 xiii
xiv CONTENTS 6. The brain is the epitome of complexity. How will understanding the complex, linked interactions among many types of neurons in the brain lead to knowing how the brain contributes to normal function and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disease 49 Task Group Summary, Group A, 51 Task Group Summary, Group B, 55 7. How can we enhance the robustness of engineered systems, and how can the methods of engineering analysis be extended to address issues of complexity and management in other fields? 59 8. Ecological robustness: Is the biosphere sustainable? 65 9. Can one control flow and transport in complex systems? 73 Task Group Summary, Group A, 78 Task Group Summary, Group B, 81 APPENDIXES Preconference Webcast Tutorials 87 Agenda 91 Participants 95 To view the preconference tutorial webcasts or conference presentations, please visit our website at www.keckfutures.org.