Kate WilletteDisruption. It’s a word you hear all the time if you listen to business gurus or political consultants. A product is disruptive when it innovates in such a way that it upsets a market — think of Uber and the effect it had on transportation or Airbnb and how it has changed both the hotel and the housing rental industries.

In more general terms, a disruption is some kind of disturbance — it’s something that interrupts an ongoing process. That’s why I got excited when Lyn Jakeman announced last fall that she was part of a team organizing a conference called SCI 2020: Launching a Decade for Disruption in Spinal Cord Injury Research. Jakeman is the neuroscientist/administrator who directs The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the program at the National Institutes of Health aimed at spinal cord injury research.

The conference took place February 12-13 in Bethesda, Maryland, sponsored and hosted by NIH. (See Resources for video link.)
As Jakeman explained it back in October, the idea was to invite representativ