How do you solve the big challenges facing the world? Science holds the solutions, but only if you look at problems through multiple lenses. That’s the view of Dr Megan Wheeler, who, as executive director of the HSchmidt Science Fellows programme, is on a mission to train the next generation of science leaders.
Dr Wheeler has dual doctorates in neuroscience (University of Oxford) and clinical psychology (The Catholic University of America). She is now leading a programme aimed at harnessing the brightest and best in science to tackle global challenges
Efforts like the human genome project have shown the value of working across traditional boundaries in science to advance discovery, she says.
“I think that it is critical that we have scientists who both have a real depth of experience but also who can step across those boundaries,” she explains.
Being a scientist today means having an ability to step outside of the lab and to communicate why the work is important, she says.
This requires a broad skill set to engage the public, funding bodies and policymakers, but also to work with scientists from other disciplines to “see solutions to problems that one of you could not see alone”.