Collaboration to Solve Global Challenges
On September 27, 2016, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) hosted a high-level summit of global entomological leaders in Orlando, Florida. This was the inaugural meeting of the Grand Challenges in Entomology Initiative. At this invitation-only Summit, Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, USDA's Director of National Institute of Food and Agriculture, delivered the keynote address — Collaboration to Solve Global Challenges.
Collaboration to Solve Global Challenges
"Improving the Human Condition with Insect Science": A Grand Challenge | Agenda for Entomology
Societal Grand Challenges
Smalley's 10 Grand Challenges
- Terrorism and War
Image: Richard Smalley, 1996 Novel Laureate Chemistry. Text stating "Wicked Problems" is placed over his photo.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Smalley's 10 Grand Challenges is displayed again with UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals placed within it:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Well-Being
- Quality Education
- Gender Equality
- Clean Water and Sanitation
- Affordable and Clean Energy
- Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- Reduced Inequalities
- Sustainable Cities and Communities
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Life Below Water
- Life on Land
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
- Partnerships for the Goals
New Biology Challenges
Smalley's 10 Grand Challenges and UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals are displayed again with the 4 Broad Challenges of The New Biology placed in it:
Grand Challenges in Entomology
Smalley's 10 Grand Challenges and UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 4 Broad Challenges of The New Biology are displayed again with the text "Sustainable AG Public Health Invasive Species" placed in the center.
Grand Challenges in Entomology
- Sustainable agriculture
- Global hunger, food security, and natural resource preservation
- Public health
- Vector-borne diseases
- Invasive species
- Global trade, biodiversity, and climate change
Abiotic: Global warming, climate change, drought, GHGS, land use, water use, nutrient management, nutrient use, trade and exports, capital, policies, labor, postharvest losses, regulations, LCAs, farming systems, smart systems, logistics
Biotic: Systems and synthetic biology, diversity of species, health outcomes, postharvest losses, efficiencies, traits, genomics genetics, pathogens, parasites, weeds, arthropods.
Abiotic and biotic topics are all within a circle and connected with arrows.
Ecological footprint of Food and Agriculture
- 80% Fresh Water
- GHGs 25%
- 80% NH4
- Energy 17%
NIFA's vision is to help facilitate approaches – including biophysical, behavioral, social, regulatory, and policy – to reduce footprint by at least 50 percent in the next 15-20 years
Collaboration at Intersection
Image: 3 circles in a Venn diagram format with a bee and butterfly in the center.
- Positive and negative impacts on food systems and environment
- Climate and land-use change effects
- Food production
- Disease vectors and public health challenges
Convergence: The Third Revolution in Action?
Crop Science, Soil Chemistry, Weed Science, Entomology, Breeding and Genetics, GPS and Precision Systems, Biotechnology, Human Health, Markets and Trade, Plant Pathology, Microbiology, Water Engineering, Soil Physics, Animal Health, Meteorology, Food Technology, Economics, Information Technology, Soil Science, Agric Systems, Climate Science, Nutrition, Seed Technology, Hydrology, Agric Engineering, Data Science.
Photo: The progression of a seed growing from planting to seedling.
Convergence or Transdisciplinarity?
Convergence: Merging of technologies, processing disciplines, or devices into a unified whole that creates a host of new pathways and opportunities. It involves the coming together of different fields of study—particularly engineering, physical sciences, and life sciences—through collaboration among research groups and the integration of approaches that were originally viewed as distinct and potentially contradictory."
Sharp et al. 2011. The Third Revolution: Convergence of the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Engineering. MIT
Transdisciplinary: Engaging with different ways of knowing the world, generating new knowledge, and helping stakeholders understand and incorporate the results or lessons learned by the research.
Wickson et al. 2006. Transdisciplinary research: characteristics, quandaries and quality', Futures, vol. 38, no. 9, pp. 1046–1059.
- Catalyze transformative discoveries, education, and engagement to address agricultural challenges
- Discovery through Delivery Continuum
- Discovery, Translation, Innovation, Solution
User Inspired Science, Transforming Lives
Convergence of Science in Public, Animal, Plant, & Environmental Health: Entomology's Role
A Natural Approach to Human-Pathogen Suppression: Can Biodiversity Fill the GAPs?
Ecology, Behavior, and Management of Insects in Human Environments.
Protecting human health and urban environment through integrated pest management programs
Immune System Regulation in Insect Vectors of Human and Animal Diseases.
Network Based Modeling Of Arthropods, Humans, And Animals To Better Understand Vector-borne Disease Transmission.
Image: Topics based on public, animal, plant, and environmental health having to do with entomology and how populated each topic is, as well as acknowledging there are topics we do not know about.
- Support transdisciplinary approaches – User Inspired.
- Promote innovations in the realm of convergence:
- Disciplines of biology, chemistry, nanotechnology, robotics, engineering, computational science, social sciences, others.
- Identify opportunities for convergence:
- Science to address societal challenges.
- Structures to facilitate transdisciplinary interaction.
- Evaluate if convergence is occurring:
- Supporting culture, environment, structures, opportunities.
Approaches to Address Grand Challenges
Need deep disciplinary knowledge, along with transdisciplinary, critical thinking, and problem solving skills to enable convergence.
- Holistic, collaborative, and predictive:
- Spatial and temporal scales
- Relationships of components with each other and other systems
- Feedbacks, interactions, and heterogeneity of systems affect environment, economy, and society
- Healthy, sustainable, productive, resilient, and diverse agroecosystems and communities
Topics in a circle with "End User Stakeholders" in the middle: Private, local, state, global, foundations, NGOs, articulations, alliances, federal
"Partnership" lies on top of all of this, which include federal, state, and county partnerships
21st Century Extension
Venn diagram of 3 topics: Science of Engagement as the first circle, Science of Change as a second circle, and Science of Literacy as the third circle.
Farm Bill/NIFA Priorities
Topics all connected:
- Animal and health production
- Food safety and nutrition
- Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment
- AG Systems and technology
- AG Economics and rural communities
- Plant and health production
Economy, Environment, and People in a triangle with Health as the center topic.
- Plant Health
- Animal Health
- Environmental Health
- Economic Health
- Public Health
NIFA Supports research and education that sustainably increase productivity by:
- Increasing photosynthetic, water use, and nutrient use efficiency in crops and animals.
- Diversifying the product stream through novel crops, organisms, and processing technologies.
- Protecting these products against predators, parasites, diseases, and pathogens to ensure food safety.
- Developing and deploying the industrial, physical, and digital technologies to revolutionize planting, cultivation, harvest, storage, and transportation.
Preparing the next generation of agriculture professionals through education, training, and leadership development.
Image of topics related to Convergence to Singularity:
- Policies, Angst, Public Pressure, and Regulations
- Cloud computing
- Data analytics
- Cognitive sciences: biological and social
Convergence to Solve Global Challenges
Smalley's 10 Grand Challenges and UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 4 Broad Challenges of the New Biology are displayed again with the text "Sustainable AG Public Health Invasive Species" placed in the center.