Monday, April 20, 2020

Biological Physics/Physics of Living Systems: A Decadal Survey

I want you to provide feedback to the Biological Physics/Physics of Living Systems decadal survey.
I want you to complete the
Biological Physics/Physics of Living Systems
decadal survey.
Hey readers of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology! I’ve got a job for you. The National Academies is performing a decadal survey of biological physics, and they want your input.
The National Academies has appointed a committee to carry out the first decadal survey on biological physics. The survey aims to help federal agencies, policymakers, and academic leadership understand the importance of biophysics research and make informed decisions about funding, workforce, and research directions. This study is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Anyone who reads a blog like mine probably has plenty to say about biological physics. Here’s their request:
We invite you to share your thoughts on the future of biophysical science with the study committee and read the input already given to the committee. Input will be accepted throughout the study but will only receive maximum consideration if submitted by April 30, 2020.
Below is some more detail about what they’re looking for.
Description The committee will be charged with producing a comprehensive report on the status and future directions of physics of the living world. The committee’s report shall:

1. Review the field of Biological Physics/Physics of Living Systems (BPPLS) to date, emphasize recent developments and accomplishments, and identify new opportunities and compelling unanswered scientific questions as well as any major scientific gaps. The focus will be on how the approaches and tools of physics can be used to advance understanding of crucial questions about living systems.

2. Use selected, non-prioritized examples from BPPLS as case studies of the impact this field has had on biology and biomedicine as well as on subfields of physical and engineering science (e.g., soft condensed-matter physics, materials science, computer science). What opportunities and challenges arise from the inherently interdisciplinary nature of this interface?

3. Identify the impacts that BPPLS research is currently making and is anticipated to make in the near future to meet broader national needs and scientific initiatives.

4. Identify future educational, workforce, and societal needs for BPPLS. How should students at the undergraduate and graduate levels be educated to best prepare them for careers in this field and to enable both life and physical science students to take advantage of the advances produced by BPPLS. The range of employment opportunities in this area, including academic and industry positions, will be surveyed generally.

5. Make recommendations on how the U.S. research enterprise might realize the full potential of BPPLS, specifically focusing on how funding agencies might overcome traditional boundaries to nurture this area. In carrying out its charge, the committee should consider issues such as the state of the BPPLS community and institutional and programmatic barriers.
I’ve already submitted my comments. Now it’s your turn. The deadline is April 30.

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