Is scientific research really important to the average Arizonan? Research funding plays a far bigger role in the present (and future) economy of Arizona than many realize. Consider this: In 1995, the state received nearly a billion dollars in research and development funds, ranking 19th out of the 50 states in such funding. Research and development activities are vital to Arizona's industries and higher education system.
Yet the research and development environment is extremely fluid. Funding sources shift and change, as do the areas of research emphasis and growth -- but with the dangers also come opportunities. Perhaps nowhere else is there as great an opportunity for growth in Arizona's relatively young economy as there is in research and development.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, along with Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona, the Arizona Department of Commerce and the Governor's Strategic Partnership for Economic Development are hosting a conference on university and industrial research funding in Arizona on Friday, March 27 at the Memorial Union at ASU.
Entitled "The Future of Science and Technology in Arizona: Trends and Indicators," the one-day conference will feature presentations by a number of important government and agency leaders. Neal Lane, currently director of the National Science Foundation and nominee for the position of Presidential Science Advisor, will give the keynote address, to be followed by Albert Teich, AAAS director of science and policy programs, who will present a special AAAS report on federal investment in research and development in Arizona, present and future. Also making introductory remarks will be Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, member of the House Science Committee; ASU President Lattie Coor; NAU President Clara Lovett; UA President Peter Likins; and Columbia University Vice Provost Michael Crow.