Convergence is a compelling novel paradigm and a potent force for advancing scientific discovery via transdisciplinary collaboration. It is also a useful framework for multi-sector partnerships. The Biden-Harris Administration should form a Convergence Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to accelerate research and innovation and help ensure U.S. leadership in the industries of the future.
In forming the Directorate, NSF should:
- Commit resources that are commensurate with the importance of the Directorate’s mission.
- Provide the sustained focus needed to realize the tremendous potential of convergence.
- Ensure that the Directorate is organized to reflect the principles of convergence in its structure and operations.
Common frameworks for evaluating proposals leave this utility function implicit, often evaluating aspects of risk, uncertainty, and potential value independently and qualitatively.
The Biden-Harris Administration should facilitate the transition to a clean grid by aggressively supporting utility-scale renewable energy resources in rural areas that are connected to urban centers through modernized high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission.
A just transition from coal to nuclear energy production requires developers to listen and respond to local communities’ concerns and needs through the process of planning, siting, licensing, design, construction, and eventual decommissioning.
Programs across the federal government are working to increase American health by making physical activity safer and more accessible, but most Americans still fail to get enough physical exercise, which has social and economic consequences.