MIT announced today that it is forming an ad hoc committee to review the structure of its neuroscience entities, and to make recommendations for how these entities can work together more productively in the future.
The committee is being formed in part as a response to questions that have been raised within the MIT community about the recruitment of a young neuroscientist to the MIT faculty.
"MIT helped to pioneer cross-disciplinary approaches to research," said MIT President Susan Hockfield. "Our ability to work effectively across centers, departments and school boundaries will increasingly determine MIT's success in its mission of research, teaching and service, particularly in the neurosciences."
Provost L. Rafael Reif will convene the committee. Professor Jacqueline N. Hewitt, director of the Center for Space Research, will serve as chair. Members will be Dr. Torsten Wiesel, who serves on the board of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research; Donner Professor of Science Marc A. Kastner, who heads the Department of Physics; Professor Michael F. Rubner, director of the Center for Material Sciences and Engineering; and Institute Professor Sheila E. Widnall of aeronautics and astronautics and the Engineering Systems Division.
"This issue has broad significance because the most important intellectual challenges of our time call for interdisciplinary approaches," said Hockfield. "We want to encourage productive work among members of our neuroscience and biological science communities in the pursuit of groundbreaking research, without regard to the specific entity in which an individual holds an appointment."
Hockfield and Reif both expressed their gratitude to members of the MIT community for bringing these issues forward.