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Collective Behavior
Advanced Nuclear Technologies
Informed Brain/Digital World
Ecosystem Services
Imaging Science
Synthetic Biology
Complex Systems
Smart Prosthetics

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The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Conferences bring together more than 100 of the nation’s best and brightest researchers from academic, industrial, and government laboratories to ask questions about - and to discover interdisciplinary connections between - important areas of cutting-edge research.  Participants gain not only a wider perspective, but also, in many instances, new insights and techniques that might be applied to their own work.  Selection of each year’s theme is based on assessments of where the intersection of science, engineering, and medical research has the greatest potential to spark new discovery.

NAKFI Topics
The NAKFI Oversight Committee considers many ideas for Futures Initiative topics each year and bases its selection on each topic’s potential for engaging researchers at the intersections of science, engineering, and medical research to spark new discoveries.  Topics are selected one to two years in advance, and the Oversight Committee will next consider potential topics for the 2016 initiative.  Suggestions submitted as directly below must be received by December 31, 2014 in order to be considered.

Please use the NAKFI Topic Suggestion Form to submit an idea for the 2016 conference.  The form must be completed in one session, so please prepare your answers to the following questions before clicking on the form:
  • Please provide the topic title and a summary of the proposed topic (500 words or less), including description of its relevance to science, engineering, and medicine.
  • What is the scientific “ripeness” of this topic, or potential for advance in the next decade, or what is the penalty for waiting? (250 words or less.)
  • Please provide two to three task group questions that you would like to see explored during the conference (250 words or less).
  • What are some common, basic areas of understanding that are needed across disciplinary and professional bounds that should be addressed by Webcast tutorials (250 words or less).
  • Based on the description of NAKFI’s unusual conference format, what is NAKFI’s unique ability to contribute to the topic? (250 words or less.)
  • Please list any other activities related to this topic that are taking place in 2016 or 2017 (e.g., conferences, symposia).
  • Please list NAS, NAE and IOM members, or other experts, who are working on aspects of this topic.
  • Please provide your contact information and the names of individuals with whom you collaborated on this topic idea.