The American University: National Treasure or Endangered Species?

By Ronald G. Ehrenberg | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Prospect for
Science and Technology

Neal Lane

IN 1946, JOHN MASEFIELD, an English poet laureate, said, "There are few things more enduring than a university."1 Many people seemed to agree, for several decades followed during which universities were the routine recipients of the federal government's largesse and the nation's praise.

For the research university to remain a national treasure, however, it must have a prescription for addressing the impending downturn in federal funds. In short, it must find ways to do more with less. This will require real change for universities and for the National Science Foundation (NSF). What is necessary is for a stronger link to be created between scientific research institutions and society so that research is deemed to be more effective and benefits people more visibly.

Somehow, we in the research community must make better connections with the society beyond our laboratory walls. We should strive to overcome the traditional barriers that have sepa-

____________________
1
John Masefield, speech, June 25, 1946, University of Sheffield.

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