Study in Progress

Statement of Task

Transformative science drives significant advances by providing new theoretical or technical frameworks that re-orient existing fields or even create new fields. Yet, the history of science shows many transformative concepts were very difficult to identify when initially introduced. An ad hoc committee will organize a public workshop as a primary source of information to examine transformative research as it has influenced the evolution of the geographical sciences to provide insight into how transformative research evolved in the past so that it can be encouraged in the future. In particular, the committee will seek insights into three questions noted below, drawing principally on the workshop presentations and discussions:
1. How has transformative research emerged in the past and how did it become transformative?
2. What might be the early markers of transformative research and how does it become possible to identify their transformative character?
3. What has helped nurture and bring transformative research to fruition and how can it be fostered in the geographical sciences?

The committee will not evaluate existing funding and operational programs or make budgetary recommendations.