February 2017

February 09, 2017

Does university research matter?

In other blog posts I have argued that the impact of research is important for national, state, and local economies, and that it is a vital source of new knowledge as we confront the challenges of our day. But how do we know if that new knowledge actually does anything? In my previous post I discussed why this impact (if research actually does anything) is hard to measure apart from things like research expenditures, new patents, publication counts, and the like, and I argued that seeing universities as anchor institutions can be one way to begin appreciating the broader, “behind-the-scenes” benefits. The topic that I want to take up in this post is how we can effectively support and encourage research and inquiry that may have less obvious (but ultimately no less important) benefits for a university’s home and the...