Rebuilding the "infostructure"
Technology transfer and the future of the university

Join the discussion
Should all scholars consider themselves public intellectuals?

The Public and the Intellectuals
Seeing and speaking beyond the academy

The intellectual and the bureaucracy
Is the intellectual necessarily an exile, marginal to the processes of culture and society? Excerpts from an Emory conference on Critical Conjunctions: Institutional Critique, Cultural Brokerage, and Cultural Display.

You can't say that everybody should be a public intellectual. People are diversely gifted. That ought to be something we celebrate.
Luke Johnson, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins

The inventors or discoverers of knowledge should be in the business of disseminating that knowledge.
Jagdish Sheth, Kellstadt Professor of Marketing

Does your research concern Atlanta?

Further Reading
A University Decides That Its Ph.D.'s Should Be Able to Talk to Average Joes
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, October 8, 1999

The Uncertain Value of Training Public Intellectuals
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, September 24, 1999

Do Academic Giants Still Walk the Earth?
From the Chronicle of Higher Education, September 10, 1999

Academic Exchange October/November 1999 Contents Page

Technology transfer, or the delivery of academic discoveries and inventions into the marketplace, is one way in which intellectuals and the public interact. Emory's future in technology transfer is unfolding with the plans for the forty-two-acre Emory West campus, which the university purchased last year from the state.

Portions of that Briarcliff Road campus are slated to become a biotechnology development center--an "incubator" for nascent biotechnology companies with facilities, seed funding, and management until they are secure enough to stand on their own.

As higher education observers have noted, this changing context for science has blurred the distinctions between "scholarly" and "applied" research. It also raises questions about the patenting of information ranging from genetic material to prime numbers. In what some have termed this shifting "infostructure," many researchers fear for the future of freely shared information.

Is technology transfer a sign that market demands are increasingly controlling the
university, distracting the academy from its mission? Or does it leverage the university's best assets and offer a way to finance the future of higher education?

The next issue of the Academic Exchange will explore these questions. Contact the managing editor at 727-5269 or if you would like to contribute to the discussion.