Blog #1 – Kyle McMeekin

Initially I believed this statement was an accurate and concise way to summarize what an academic institution could accomplish with a successful research enterprise. The human, physical, and digital infrastructures certainly need to be present in order to support the production of new knowledge. However after some thought I began to think how these infrastructures, regardless of how successful they are independently, cannot be successful without reliance and interdependence on one another. Collectively these infrastructures are a force and help to produce new knowledge but if they do not work with one another then the academic institution’s production is limited. Perhaps if the statement read that a “leading academic institution is a complex system of human, physical, and digital infrastructures that function together in order to support the production new knowledge and the advancement and training of research practitioners”.

My second observation had to deal with what a research enterprise produced and more specifically who benefited from the production of new knowledge. I disagree that a research enterprise functions only to produce new knowledge and advance and train researchers. I believe a research enterprise functions to serve more people than those directly involved with the research. The advancements made have a larger impact on the human population as a whole and undoubtedly are not limited solely to research practitioners. Knowledge acquired through research can have enormous benefits for the community, country, and the entire world. Research breakthroughs at the University of Michigan can attest to this. Overall the statement seemed accurate but I believe additional information would strengthen the message it seeks to spread.

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One Response to Blog #1 – Kyle McMeekin

  1. cyberprofgus says:

    You raise good points, Kyle, but your interpretation is key. I had implicitly assumed the “function together” aspect, but the degree to which that happens certainly can, and does, vary.

    The beneficiaries of new knowledge were left unstated. You’re right to point out the value of research to the public, but that’s allowed under the statement I wrote, right? When research works (papers, reports, …) are made available in an open way, the benefits can be widely felt.

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