For over 100 years scientists and educators have endeavored to understand the learning process. The potential within this body of knowledge often remains unexploited in helping educators teach, support, and evaluate students. A more recent issue is the relationship between neuroscience, genetics, and education where numerous gains in understanding how the brain functions have generated just as many claims about how teachers should teach. Additionally, in the last decade the concern that students are not learning “enough” has led to political pressure to increase rigor and accountability through standards. The inaugural IMBES conference will explore these issues, as well as identify strategies for developing research agendas and collaborative partnerships that bring these perspectives into closer alignment. Without alignment, each perspective may become a narrower reflection of its own vision of education. Thus, the promise of a successful educational experience for all students requires closer attention to the multifaceted, multi-layer view that integrates research, policy, and practice.