The questions that biologists from diverse subdisciplines are asking have commonalities that make clear the continued existence of fundamental challenges that unify biology and that should form the core of much research in the decades to come. Some of these questions are as follows: What features convey robustness to systems? How different should we expect the robustness of different systems to be, depending on whether selection is operating primarily on the whole system or on its parts? How does robustness trade off against adaptability? How does natural selection deal with environmental noise and the consequent uncertainty at diverse scales? When does synchrony emerge, and what are its implications for robustness? When and how does cooperative behavior emerge, and can we derive lessons from evolutionary history to foster cooperation in a global commons?
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