A Vision for the Future of Science: Conquering the Unknown.

Earlier last month we discussed a recent advancement in the STEM field, artificial intelligence. Despite its massive promise in the field of science and medicine, AI proves to be just a drop in the proverbial bucket of advancements that we have seen in the field of science and technology. Francis Collins, the drector of the NIH, has seen first-hand the evolution of medical and scientific technology. In a recent article in TIME magazine, Dr. Collins discusses his vision for the future of science.

In his interveiw, Collins highlights the need to harness the power of gene editing, expand the reach of cancer immunotherapy, map the human brain, and build on personalized healthcare.

The highlight of this article, for me, comes when Collins talks about the unknown challenges that we face as scientists. He emphasizes the need for more scientists to take risks and to venture into unknown parts of science. Only then can we really start to conquer the unknown parts of science.

I can attest to the importance of this kind of thinking. In much of my own research we have seen benefits of many of the compounds we are working with to attenuate chemotherapy toxicity. However, until we started venturing into unknown mechanisms on the tissue analysis did we see the most incredible results. High risk/high reward; this is the most exciting, yet most terrifying side of science.

Dr. Collins’s journey as a scientist has been one of many ups and downs. He has seen the evolution of science and medicine and understands that we need to be doing more to overcome the current challenges in medicine. Everyday, it seems, something new is being discovered in the field of medical science. Recently it was reported that there was a new strain of HIV that was discovered. Another recent article in The Guardian highlights a blood test that might be able to detect breast cancer up to 5 years before traditional mammograms. The point of all my babble here is to come away with one thing. KEEP LEARNING! Science is an ever-changing field that is entering what we might come to call the next golden age in medicine.

Along with being a published scientist, Dr. Collins is also a published novelist. He has authored 4 books on bridging the gap between science and religion. If you are interested in reading his books I highly recommend them.

  1. The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, 2006)
  2. The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine (HarperCollins, published in early 2010)
  3. Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (HarperOne, March 2, 2010)
  4. The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions with Karl Giberson IVP Books (February 15, 2011)

Education Committee Announcements

Don’t forget the ASIP 2020 Annual Meeting in San Diego April 4-7, 2020 http://asip20.asip.org/

PISA 2020 is happeneing! Join your fellow ASIP members at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Boston November 7-9, 2020. https://pisa20.asip.org/

Intersted in becomming a member of ASIP? Contact me at alexander.sougiannis@uscmed.sc.edu www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-sougiannis

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