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See Inside Scientific American Volume 309, Issue 4

To Tap the Vast and Growing Potential for New Ideas, We Need New Rules

To tap the world's vast and growing potential for new ideas, we need new rules

In the Central African rain forest, a team of researchers and students from the U.S., Cameroon, Gabon, the U.K., Germany, France and the Netherlands is creating a conservation plan for the region that takes climate change and regional economic development into account. This group, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, includes biologists, agricultural experts and social scientists.

Collaboration among people from many different disciplines and nations—sharing goals and resources—is becoming the new normal in science and engineering. Diversity in research teams accelerates innovation, perhaps because researchers with different backgrounds see the same problems through different lenses, and together they can correct one another's hidden biases.

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