Indiana University Research & Creative Activity

The Art and Science of Medicine

Volume XXVI Number 1
Fall 2003

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Adam Herbert
Adam Herbert, President of Indiana University
Photo © 2003 Tyagan Miller

Exploring the Mysteries of Art and Science: Great Progress and Momentum for the Future

by Adam Herbert, President of Indiana University

Albert Einstein once said that "the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science." During my brief tenure at Indiana University, I have developed a great appreciation for the capacity of our faculty to explore those mysteries and create from them the art that uplifts our spirits and the new knowledge that strengthens teaching, fuels innovation, and enhances our health and quality of life.

Faculty members on all IU campuses are experiencing growing success in their research programs. One indicator of that success is research grant income. In 2002-03, IU's sponsored research totaled more than $392 million-nearly two and a half times the total received 10 years ago.

Federal funding comprises approximately 60 percent of all IU research grants in the sciences, social sciences, and professional disciplines. Over the last five years, NIH funding has doubled, increasing from $13.6 billion in 1998 to $27.8 billion in 2003. During the same period, the NSF has nearly doubled, growing from $3.42 billion in 1998 to $5.3 billion in 2003.

IU faculty members are moving their discoveries from the research bench to the marketplace in greater numbers than ever before. This year, the Advanced Research and Technology Institute (ARTI) assisted faculty members in patenting more than twice as many of their discoveries as in 1996, the year ARTI was established. IU now has 253 active patents in its portfolio. Licensing income provided to the university has grown from $307,000 in 1996 to more than $5 million in 2003.

ARTI also has established the IU Emerging Technologies Center. This exciting venture, which serves as a business incubator for life sciences and information technology start-ups, will be a centerpiece for economic development throughout the state of Indiana.

Although sponsored research grants and licensing income may help us gauge the quality and volume of some university research efforts, creative activity in the arts and humanities is much more difficult to assess in these terms alone.

To further enhance scholarly activity in the arts and humanities, for which federal support has dwindled over the last decade, the university established an Arts and Humanities Initiative. Now in its fourth year, that initiative provides $1 million annually in competitively awarded grants for arts and humanities research (see Page 2).

Indiana University's core identity as a liberal arts institution creates a dynamic synergy with scientific research and economic development. Nowhere is that more evident than in the work of the new Center for Bioethics, which is featured in this issue of R&CA, or in the success of the new School of Informatics, which combines the arts and humanities with information technology.

In short, Indiana University is experiencing growing success in many fields. We must take advantage of that momentum! The challenge over the next decade will be to heighten our research productivity and increase the number of talented graduate students pursuing degrees with IU's outstanding faculty. Our goal must be the growth of externally funded research grant and contract activity to a level that will move IU even higher among the ranks of America's most distinguished institutions. The accomplishment of this goal will require:

•Enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration,

•Expanded initiatives in such critical and fast-growing areas as the life sciences and information technology,

•Broader research collaboration between IU and other research universities,

•Heightened efforts to attract additional world-class faculty researchers to the university,

•Continued emphasis on the acquisition of advanced equipment and high-quality facilities that support and enhance the research environment.

It also is also essential that we carefully review internal university policies, practices, and structures to determine how the university can be even more supportive of this intensified research agenda. I look forward to working with my faculty colleagues to build on the university's great progress in research and creative activity.

Adam Herbert began as president of Indiana University on August 1, 2003.