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Conclusions

In this vision of the future of science:

• One's discipline will be noted much as one's place of birth is noted today – where one started on life's journey, but not what totally defines one's life.

• Science research and education will balance analysis and synthesis to produce not just data, but knowledge and even wisdom. This will enable vastly improved links with social decision-making.

• The limits of predictability of complex, adaptive, living systems will be recognized, and a “pragmatic modeling” philosophy of science will be adopted. This will allow new, adaptive approaches to environmental management and better links with social decision-making.

• A multiscale approach to understanding, modeling, and managing complex, adaptive, living systems will be the norm, and methods for transferring knowledge across scales will be vastly improved.

• A consistent theory of biological and cultural co-evolution will evolve and increase understanding of humans' place in nature and the possibilities of designing a sustainable and desirable human presence in the biosphere.

• Envisioning and goal setting will be recognized as critical parts of both science and social decision-making. We will create a shared vision of a desirable and sustainable future, and implement adaptive management systems at multiple scales in order to get us there.

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