New Horizons in Science

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From reductionism to sustainable science

Topic: Sustainability
Leonardo da Vinci's drawings of winged flying craft
Public Domain Leonardo da Vinci
Monday, November 4, 2013 -
8:30am to 9:30am
Century Ballroom A

Paul Anastas acknowledges that science has made huge progress through reductionism and tinkering, learning what happens when you change just one parameter. But the resulting products and processes have given us a 21st-century world that is awash in unintended consequences and expends enormous agency on flawed and ineffective risk analysis. Reductionism, he says, is “a wonderful tool, a terrible master, an even worse religion.” He will propose ways for scientists and engineers to embrace systems thinking, systems design and “transformative innovation.”


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