Washington University in St. Louis has joined a group of leading research universities in launching Futurity (futurity.org), an online research channel covering the latest discoveries in science, engineering, the environment, health, and more. Washington University is one of 35 partners (full list attached) supporting the project. All the current partner universities are members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), a nonprofit organization of leading public and private research universities.
“Washington University, like the other research universities involved in this exciting new communications venture, has continued to search for new avenues through which it can share with the public the stories of its intellectual capital,” says Steve Givens, associate vice chancellor for public affairs.
“In the face of decreasing coverage of science and research in traditional media outlets, futurity.org will play a important role in educating the public about the importance and impact of America’s great research universities. While this site can never replace objective and independent science and research journalism, it goes a long way toward raising the awareness of the important work that is being done.”
Futurity cofounder Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke University, says the site serves another vital role. It allows the public to see how federal, state, and private funding are being put to use by universities to address critical challenges.
“It’s not often you see high-powered universities working together in such a collaborative way,” says Schoenfeld. “That fact alone indicates the project’s significance. Universities are the world’s laboratories. They host the brightest minds working to answer some of today’s most urgent questions. The breadth and caliber — and the collective force — of the research featured on Futurity is truly extraordinary.”
Since launching a beta version in March, Futurity has continued to add membership and readership.
Lisa Lapin, assistant vice president for communications at Stanford University, says Futurity is looking for new ways to extend the site’s reach.
“We’re active on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. We’re also in partnership talks with major Internet news providers. Today’s online environment is perfectly suited for this type of direct communication. There’s something very authentic about universities working together to share knowledge.”
Lapin says the site is designed to encourage interaction. Stories include links to published reports and supplemental materials that allow readers to explore topics in more detail. The site is available in a mobile friendly version, and visitors can comment on stories and sign up for a daily e-mail update.
# # #
Futurity participating universities:
- Brown University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Case Western Reserve University
- Cornell University
- Duke University
- Emory University
- Iowa State University
- Johns Hopkins University
- McGill University
- Michigan State University
- New York University
- Northwestern University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Princeton University
- Rice University
- Stanford University
- Stony Brook University
- Tulane University
- University of California – Berkeley
- University of California – Irvine
- University of Chicago
- University of Colorado at Boulder
- University of Iowa
- University of Kansas
- University of Michigan
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Rochester
- University of Southern California
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of Washington
- Vanderbilt University
- Washington University in St. Louis
- Yale University