The mission of the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center to be a catalyst for interdisciplinary scientific research and discovery and develop a university–wide integrated scientific research network is paramount to its success. And as Nanoscience Initiative Director Rein V. Ulijn and Professor Elisa Riedo explained in a recently published article in Nature Nanotechnology, this mission will allow the ASRC “to have a significant economic and societal impact through areas such as urbanization, energy generation, climate change and healthcare.”
Published in the journal’s September 2016 issue, “Learning to ‘think systems’” is an explanation of the ethos Ulijn and Riedo have ingrained within the Nanoscience Initiative to encourage scientists conducting research at the ASRC to be at the vanguard of interdisciplinary thinking and research techniques.
“The ASRC provides an environment in which to develop ways of training students and scientists that incorporate a better appreciation of scale and connectivity between disciplines, and is, therefore, a unique test bed for new didactic and research approaches to applied nanoscience,” Ulijn and Riedo wrote.
An environment that encourages “systems thinking” is an essential component of the next generation of scientific research, and the ASRC’s unique collection of research disciplines—nanoscience, photonics, structural biology, neuroscience and environmental sciences—was strategically constructed to position CUNY as a leader in groundbreaking scientific research.
“The next generation of nanoscience students and researchers will need to learn to navigate the ways in which nanoscience can interact with, and impact on, other disciplines and society, as well as learning about their own (already diverse) research field,” the authors noted. “Building on (CUNY’s sterling history of scientific research), we hope to take advantage of the unique cross-disciplinary setting offered by the ASRC, and provide students and young researchers with the joined-up training that the future of nanoscience demands.”
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The City University of New York’s Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) is a University-wide venture that elevates CUNY’s legacy of scientific research and education through initiatives in five distinctive, but increasingly interconnected disciplines: Nanoscience, Photonics, Structural Biology, Neuroscience and Environmental Sciences. The center is designed to promote a unique, interdisciplinary research culture with researchers from each of the initiatives working side by side in the ASRC’s core facilities, sharing equipment that is among the most advanced available.