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From the Dean | Commentary

Found In Translation

How To Get Ideas From The Ivory Tower To The Public Good

By Peter Rodriguez

How To Get Ideas From The Ivory Tower To The Public Good

Within the walls of academia, research is cherished and revered, the genuine ‘coin of the realm’ for any serious scholar. Outside the walls, research often appears more like a dalliance, the luxurious hobby of the academic’s lifestyle or the abstruse and unproductive exercise of impractical but well-funded scientific minds.

The failure of academic leaders to communicate the fundamental honesty, rigor and power in great research is our most humbling marketing failure. It keeps us up at night. And it keeps the good stuff, the scientific wisdom, the very hard-won stuff, out of reach for so many who really need it. Now, more than ever, the value of science and of proven research and scholarship needs to be smartly and widely shared.

Some like to water down the complexity of scientific studies to make it palatable and less intimidating. But adding sugar to the medicine steals the integrity of scientific processes and turns professors cold to the process. As a result, academics too often seek only their own kind when sharing successful research.

We can do better, by working hard to craft well-written, honest and authentic pieces on the best research done by scholars at Rice. I am immensely proud of the engaging, brief and refreshingly smart pieces that follow in this inaugural print edition of the best of Rice Business Wisdom. There’s nothing more gratifying to a professor than knowing they helped make someone smarter — and through these works on our research, we can.

On behalf of all my colleagues at Rice, and scholars everywhere, I hope you will read, enjoy and share them widely.

-- Dean Peter Rodriguez

Peter Rodriguez is a Professor of Strategic Management and the Dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

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