Is University Research Missing What Matters Most?
School of Public Health Dean Sandro Galea issued a call for a change in research priorities—away from narrow, piecemeal inquiries, towards large-scale efforts to improve population health—in the January 24 edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In a Chronicle issue headlined, “Is University Research Missing What Matters?” Galea is a leading voice urging a revamping of the structures that support university science in order to tackle the most pressing social problems affecting health, rather than discipline-based segments of those problems. He says universities and their funders are not doing enough to identify and pursue the root causes of health problems, including economic and racial disparities, violence, and mental stress.
“When you start asking what matters most, it really changes how you look at things, and it changes what you take on,” Galea writes. “We have veered away from keeping our eye on the prize. And the prize is paying attention to why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
The Chronicle notes that universities face increasing pressures to financially justify their research decisions, which has led to a focus on projects that can be “monetized,” rather than those that can make the biggest difference in population health.
Click here to read this full post from the Boston University School of Public Health website. Click here to view this January 26, 2016 special report by Paul Basken in the Chronicle of Higher Education (linked via the BU website).