Presentation #221.01 in the session Zurbuchen Plenary Lecture.
With the recent release of the Astro2020 Decadal Survey and the successful launch and deployment of JWST, our common focus is on building a bright future for astrophysics, an extraordinary science discipline that touches thousands of lives in our community and inspires millions around the world. However, we will only realize this bright future if NASA – in conjunction with our academic, industry, and international partners – builds excellent teams that not only harness the immense talents and opportunities of our community but push beyond the approaches that are familiar to us.
In this presentation, we will briefly review both opportunities and challenges faced by the field of astrophysics during the past decades and derive some principles that help for our future as well. We will then address how to maximize our successes in the next decade through building impactful teams. Consistent with the decadal survey, we argue that teams cannot truly achieve their potential in environments where diversity and inclusion are not taken seriously throughout. Finally, we will focus on changes in the aerospace industry and related sectors that can enable novel technology solutions and architectures not previously achievable.