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Team work

Group examines professional pitfalls created by participating in large interdisciplinary projects

Eugene Russo(erusso@the-scientist.com)

BETHESDA, MD— The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and academia need to do more to stimulate and reward so-called team science efforts and to tweak a system that for decades has been designed to focus on the individual principal investigator, concluded participants in a symposium held last week. More than 300 scientists, administrators, and journal editors from a variety of disciplines examined the role and ideal formulation of "team science" as part of an annual NIH Bioengineering Consortium (BECON) symposium.

"For years, many have been watching federal agencies and saying that 'interdisciplinary work is important'," symposium Co-chair Janie Fouke of Michigan State University told The Scientist. "But they haven't been moving fast enough in terms of university and government mechanisms."

Fouke added that the bioengineering field is uniquely positioned to discuss team science since its practitioners have been doing interdisciplinary team science for decades, for example, in order...

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