Initial Publication Date: April 13, 2015

Beyond Earth System Science

An Approach for the 21st Century

Go back to the beginning of this presentation by Kip Hodges from Arizona State University.


To develop scientists capable of solving our grand challenges, we need to

  • Rethink the definition of "essential information"
  • Make more time for student reflection
  • Focus on learning how to learn, rather than on transfer of content
  • Develop an adaptive approach to teaching
  • Redeploy educational funding to support transdisciplinary learning environments

  • Support transdisciplinary, team-based research
  • Commit part of our research time to the public good
  • Recognize (and reward) this kind of work within science programs

An article in the April 26, 2007 issue of Nature (the day before Kip gave this presentation!) highlights the need to move beyond the discipline-based model of university research.

Form academic units, organized around problems rather than disciplines. Rather than thinking of your department in competition with others (for students, money, resources), think of your academic unit working together, with all of you benefiting.

Form collaborations with policy makers, with industry, and with the public.

Engage appropriately with your environment. If you live in the desert southwest, good stewardship would involve xeriscaping.... Apply the same principle to your academic work.