“A well-argued, data-rich defense of the irreplaceable role of American research universities—not only in science, engineering, and education, but in our national life. Now, more than ever, we need this book’s deep appreciation of research universities’ power to be sources, anchors, and hubs for ‘beautiful accidents’ in learning and innovation.”—Kei Koizumi, American Association for the Advancement of Science
IRIS PI Jason Owen-Smith’s new book Research Universities and the Public Good: Discovery for an Uncertain Future has been released.
In a political climate that is skeptical of hard-to-measure outcomes, public funding for research universities is under threat. But if we scale back support for these institutions, we also cut off a key source of value creation in our economy and society. Research Universities and the Public Good offers a unique view of how universities work, what their purpose is, and why they are important.
Countering recent arguments that we should “unbundle” or “disrupt” higher education, Jason Owen-Smith argues that research universities are valuable gems that deserve support. While they are complex and costly, their enduring value is threefold: they simultaneously act as sources of new knowledge, anchors for regional and national communities, and hubs that connect disparate parts of society. These distinctive features allow them, more than any other institution, to innovate in response to new problems and opportunities. Presenting numerous case studies that show how research universities play these three roles and why they matter, this book offers a fresh and stirring defense of the research university.