The world is facing unprecedented challenges. Some argue that blue sky, also known as basic research, is critical – that the serendipitous results it fuels provide the perfect shoulders for giants to stand upon. But, with so much at stake globally right now, is blue sky in danger of looking a little indulgent?
Dr. Lesley Thompson, Elsevier's VP of Academic and Strategic Alliances, continues to explore these questions on our Research 2030 podcast series. In this episode she is joined by Dr. Andrew Hamilton, President of New York University (NYU), who shares his perspective on why blue sky and applied (mission-driven) research can and should happily co-exist for the benefit of solving world challenges.
Editor's note: This episode was recorded in February, before the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Now, the relationship between basic and applied research seems even more relevant to solving world challenges. You can find the latest coronavirus research free of charge in Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center.
Guest: Dr. Andrew Hamilton
President, New York University (NYU)
Dr. Andrew Hamilton was named the 16th president of New York University (NYU) in March 2015. He most recently served as Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, the university’s senior officer, after an academic career that took him from Princeton to the University of Pittsburgh, and then to Yale, where he was Provost.
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Throughout his time in academic leadership positions, he has maintained his scholarly work, including an active research laboratory, and continues to do so at NYU.
A distinguished chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society, Dr. Hamilton’s scholarly work lies at the intersection of organic and biologic chemistry. He received his PhD from Cambridge University, his master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, and his undergraduate degree from Exeter University.
Dr. Hamilton also hosts his own podcast, Conversations.
Host: Dr. Lesley Thompson
Vice President of Academic and Strategic Alliances, Elsevier
Dr. Lesley Thompson joined Elsevier in 2016 as Director Academic & Government Strategic Alliance in the UK. Previously, she worked for 26 years at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the largest of the UK’s seven research councils.
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At Elsevier, Lesley plays a leading role in advancing Elsevier’s initiatives to help universities, funding bodies and governments achieve their strategic objectives. She was a member of the Royal Society Diversity group, she chairs the Oxfordshire Innovation Board and is a member of Keele University Council. In January 2016, was awarded an MBE for services to research. Lesley has a PhD in Biology from the University of Essex and is married with children.
Resources: Future-proofing research
In the Research Futures report, Elsevier and Ipsos MORI, one of the world’s largest research agencies, joined forces to understand how trends – from advances in technology and funding pressures to political uncertainty and population shifts – might be fueling the changes we’ll see in the coming decade.
The resulting large-scale future-scoping and scenario-planning study raised many questions and sparked interesting conversations, some of which we are capturing in this podcast.
Download the report and supporting material
- Download the summary report (including scenarios)
- Download the full report (including the scenarios and essays)
- Download the monitoring framework
Elements of the underlying study data are also freely available:
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