linking big: The continuing promise of evolutionary synthesis

Brian Sidlauskas, Ganeshkumar Ganapathy, Einat Hazkani-Covo, Kristin P. Jenkins, Hilmar Lapp, Lauren W. McCall, Samantha Price, Ryan Scherle, Paula A. Spaeth, David M. Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Synthetic science promises an unparalleled ability to find new meaning in old data, extant results, or previously unconnected methods and concepts, but pursuing synthesis can be a difficult and risky endeavor. Our experience as biologists, informaticians, and educators at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center has affirmed that synthesis can yield major insights, but also revealed that technological hurdles, prevailing academic culture, and general confusion about the nature of synthesis can hamper its progress. By presenting our view of what synthesis is, why it will continue to drive progress in evolutionary biology, and how to remove barriers to its progress, we provide a map to a future in which all scientists can engage productively in synthetic research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-880
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Data sharing
  • Education
  • Informatics
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Ontology
  • Scientific culture
  • Visualization


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