On Tuesday, Jan. 26, University of Iowa International Programs hosted “Research to Real Life,” a WorldCanvass event seeking to explore what it means to be a research university and how basic research impacts the world.
UI Vice President for Research and Economic Development Daniel A. Reed opened the discussion with examples of academic research that led to discoveries and technological innovations that have transformed each person’s lives, including computers, the Internet, and smartphones; the biomedical revolution with new vaccines and lifesaving drugs, and diagnostics such as the MRI.
Reed said that basic research has fueled most of the technological, scientific, and medical breakthroughs over the past 70 years, and that more than half of U.S. economic growth since World War II can be traced to science-driven technological innovation.
Speakers from the humanities included Ed Folsom, professor of English and noted Walt Whitman scholar; Jacki Rand, associate professor of history and scholar of Native American history; and Professor Angela Onwuachi-Willig from the UI College of Law. Speaking on virtual reality was Jodie Plumert, professor and chair of the UI Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Karim Abdel-Malek, professor in the UI Departments of Biomedical and Engineering and director of the UI Center for Computer-Aided Design.
A full recap of the event with audio and video coverage can be found at http://international.uiowa.edu/news/worldcanvass-recap-research-real-life.