SFI President Jerry Sabloff is among 13 expert authors of a report issued last week by the National Research Council, "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science."
Scientific research over the past six decades has been increasingly practiced by teams rather than by lone investigators. The confirmation of dark matter, the development of antiretroviral medications, and the discovery of the transistor effect are evidence that collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches are well-suited to complex research topics. Still, the impact of team research is largely influenced by how well members of a team work together.
The report identifies several types of team science (e.g. uni- or multi-disciplinary teamwork), team processes (e.g. assembling the team), and practices that support more effective scientific teamwork (e.g. virtual collaboration). It also examines current science policy and funding paradigms, the majority of which do not account for how the scientists in a given team work together. Recommendations for improving team research are included.
Read/download the free NRC report (May 2015)