ISR Insights Speaker Series: Research Universities and the Public Good in the Time of COVID-19

November 19, 2020

ANN ARBOR – ISR Insights Speaker Series is a series focusing on the research happening at ISR.

Jason Owen-Smith (Executive Director, Institute for Research on Innovation & Science (IRIS); Executive Director, Research Analytics; Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan; Research Professor, Institute for Social Research)

Wednesday, December 2:

America’s most research intensive universities represent about 3% of higher education institutions, but they conduct 90% of the nation’s academic research. Drawing on his recent book, Research Universities and the Public Good: Discovery for an Uncertain Future and the work of ISR’s Institute for Research on Innovation & Science (IRIS), which he directs, Jason Owen-Smith will explain how these unique and essential organizations serve as an important form of “social insurance” in the face of an uncertain future. Universities like U of M are uniquely able to address “unknown unknowns,” problems and opportunities we do not know we have yet. No other sector or type of organization accomplishes is equipped to serve this purpose in our society. COVID-19 puts special pressures on the academic research mission that come after more than a decade of declining public support. The pandemic and its effects jeopardize the US Academic Research Enterprise (US-ARE) and with it the future health, wealth, and well-being of our nation and the world. Drawing on unique data science resources developed at IRIS, and 20 years of work on the economic and social value of research and innovation, Owen-Smith highlights the challenges and explains how they might be addressed by federal and state policy-makers, the leaders and faculty of institutions like ours.


This webinar is part of a continuing series focusing on the research happening at ISR. If there is a topic you would like to see featured or have an idea for a future presentation, please email [email protected]. This talk is being recorded and will be shared widely.

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