Slide 17 of 28
Let me first mention the part of our portfolio we call Biocomplexity in the Environment. This in many ways reflects how complexity affects a wide variety of systems and processes.
The term “biocomplexity” refers to phenomena that arise as a result of dynamic interactions that occur within living systems – and between systems and their physical environment.
These systems range from microscopic to global in scale, and they exhibit properties that depend not only on the individual actions of their components, but also on the interactions among these components.
The time is right for this approach to biological systems – and to systems more generally. We have a very solid understanding of many system components. That gives us the intellectual platform for addressing how these components interact in complex systems.
Just as important is that the technologies are now available to enable this approach: genomics, molecular sequencing, informatics, robotics, remote sensing, new computational algorithms, newly developed x-ray scattering and surface spectroscopic methods, and advanced mathematics and modeling – all give us new approaches to understanding these interrelationships.
This particular approach to environmental research highlights biology – but the general approach is relevant to virtually every area of science and engineering.