“The research enterprise of a leading academic institution is a complex system of human, physical and digital infrastructures that functions to support the production of new knowledge and the advancement and training of research practitioners.”
My initial reaction to this statement was that it seemed to cover all of the elements required in a leading research enterprise. I felt that the statement was sufficient in explaining all of the necessary features of a leading academic institution by covering human, physical and digital infrastructures. As I thought about it more, however, I felt that the need for access to the existing knowledge base of what has been discovered in the research area and the ability to use it are also necessary components. Without access to leading research, the academic institution must solely rely on the research it is doing without the help of other institutions’ discoveries. The ability to use existing knowledge allows research to advance and new discoveries to be made, iterated by Isaac Newton’s quote as, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.
I agree with the last part of the statement in which the system functions to support production of new knowledge and training new researchers. I feel that the statement may leave out that the new knowledge produced is accurate and relevant to current issues in the world. Properly teaching new research practitioners is a task that falls upon academic institutions as an investment in the future of research, as it may slow progress of current research, but is necessary for future research. The system of human, physical and digital infrastructures as well as the available knowledge of other institutions is necessary to properly train a research practitioner and insure that proper research is done in the future.