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 sp