Scientific discovery forms the core of our modern lives, yet we still live in a world where a 12% success rate on billion dollar pharmaceutical trials is considered acceptable, the time from lab to application is over 17 years and most results can’t be reproduced.
At its core, nature can be explained with maths. Very complex maths that has evolved to incredible levels of efficiency over millions of years, but maths nonetheless. This can be probed and integrated across domains with the right combination of biological, physics and chemistry expertise.
Traditionally, these different disciplines and even sub-disciplines never meet, and worse, often take a rather dim view of each others’ work. Those attitudes are changing rapidly as a result of more collaborative environments; from the unique layout of the Francis Crick Institute and the interdisciplinary work we do at Deep Science Ventures (DSV), to a notable shift in multidisciplinary focused grant funding and much faster open publishing regimes and pull from industry.
This combination of the convergence of the sciences, digitisation and our compounding capability to measure, manipulate, comprehend and predict the rules and building blocks of nature is rapidly turning applied science into engineering. A shift away from the long wait between serendipitous discoveries and eventual application, and a move towards the reconstitution of tools and components across the sciences to achieve an applied solution.
Here we explore the drivers behind convergent science and the ways that these approaches are leading to a proliferation of potentially game-changing solutions.
“‘Scientific convergence’: leveraging the cutting edge capabilities and principles at the boundary of one field to significantly accelerate the advancement of another.”