Star cluster formation and early evolution: the big picture

Richard de Grijs

What has been the most profound discovery, progress or idea that has emerged in astronomy over the last decade? And what will be the most important challenge in astronomical research in the next decade? These questions are at the heart of our discipline, but we rarely venture outside of our own niche areas. I will attempt to focus on the broad picture underlying the field of star formation and discuss the requisite conditions for sustained progress in this field, aided by recent achievements in the context of my group’s star cluster research.