For the first time, the natural sciences departments at Columbia University have put forth a unified plan for the future of the basic sciences at the University. This strategic plan is the result of collaboration among the nine departments and invited input from the entire science faculty in Arts and Sciences – it was created by and for the faculty of Columbia’s natural sciences. Each department documented its own individual strengths, needs, and specific priorities, and the overall plan is built on the strategies outlined by each department. It has been designed to meet our collective needs with a comprehensive set of priorities, actions, and measures of success over the next decade that will build upon our existing strengths and lead Columbia to scientific preeminence.
The plan identifies three new scientific themes that run through and unify our departments. They include: Origins (understanding the beginning and nature of the universe), Life (understanding its complexity from proteins to populations), and Molecular Architectures (developing new materials and technologies beginning at the atomic and molecular scale). These areas have been chosen based on Columbia’s existing strengths and the potential for revolutionary breakthroughs in the next decade that will have major significance to humanity.