Invitation to Functional Collaboration: Dynamics of Progress in the Sciences, Technologies, and Arts


  • Terry Quinn Middle Tennessee State University


progress, decline, sciences, arts, technologies, functional specialization, functional collaboration, emergent.


In all disciplines there is the question of how to promote progress and offset decline. But, what are progress and decline? For this short article, the main discussion centers on biology. A solution called functional specialization begins to emerge as relevant to all of the sciences, technologies and arts. This introductory article ends with some heuristics on various follow-up issues.

Author Biography

Terry Quinn, Middle Tennessee State University

Terry Quinn’s Ph.D. was in C*-algebras, (Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, 1992).  He did one year of postdoctoral work at Trinity College Dublin School of Mathematics, and two years with the National University of Ireland (1993-1995), University College Cork.  In the USA he has held positions at Texas A&M International University, and Ohio University Southern. Currently (2012) he is professor of mathematical sciences at Middle Tennessee State University where he also served as Chair (2006-2009). He has publications in science and the philosophy of science: operator algebras (historically the mathematics from quantum physics), applications of Lie groups to differential equations; mathematical modeling for certain areas of medical research; computational methods for DNA studies; mathematics and science pedagogy; and foundational issues in the sciences. Much of his recent work and collaborations are directed toward foundational developments in the sciences and human sciences, especially regarding the origins, emerging significance, and future possibility of functional collaboration.