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The way we do science: saving America's knowledge enterprise

May 14, 2012

Editor's Note: Future Tense is a partnership between ASU, the New American Foundation and Slate Magazine that explores emerging technologies and their transformative effects on society and public policy.

The way we do science in the United States will be the subject of an upcoming Future Tense forum – "How to Save America's Knowledge Enterprise from Tight Budgets, Primitive Myths & the Shadow of Albert Einstein" – scheduled for 12 to 5:30 p.m., May 21, at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. Download Full Image

There will be a live webcast of the event via ASUtv. (More details on how to access the webcast.)

Science and technology in America have been guided by the same set of ideas for more than half a century. The conventional wisdom is that if we feed more money and more scientists into our existing "knowledge enterprise" complex, society will derive proportionately more benefits. In the face of the global economic downturn, political disarray at the national level, and protracted challenges to the nation's public health, environmental quality, industrial base, and energy system, this simplistic
 assumption is long overdue for a reckoning.

Today's challenges demand new ways of thinking about science and technology, and the government's role in advancing them. The problem, any honest inquiry will suggest, isn't always money, or the number of scientists, but the very way we do science.

ASU's Dan Sarewitz, the director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at ASU, and professor of science and society, will give the first scheduled talk of the event at 12 p.m., titled "Just Trust Us: The Postwar Golden Era and Why We Cling to It."

Sarewitz joins other scholars, including George Poste, chief scientist of ASU's Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, and founder and former director of the Biodesign Institute at ASU; Jonathan Koppell, director of ASU's School of Public Affairs and dean of the College of Public Programs; and ASU President Michael Crow.

Crow will give the event's closing talk, titled "Redesigning the Cold War University."

More information on the event can be found here.

ASU News

Downtown Phoenix residency program gives international artists home base

May 14, 2012

The first artists moved into their new living spaces last month at Combine Studios in downtown Phoenix, marking an important milestone for the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program.

Clare Patey (England), Matteo Rubbi (Italy) and Miguel Palma (Portugal) are among the artists currently in residence. Download Full Image

Gordon Knox, ASU Art Museum director, said the residencies are an important aspect of the museum’s work in advancing the role of the creative process of artists across all fields of knowledge and research.

“Having international artists here developing their work, interacting with each other and engaging with community members will provide a range of benefits and outcomes,” Knox said. “Already we have an ASU robotics team working with Portuguese artist Miguel Palma as he develops an image capture and projection vehicle to ‘bring’ the desert back into the city. Italian artist Matteo Rubbi is organizing a massive bicycle swarming project to trace the Hohokam canals, which will work with history, archeology and other community partners.”

The relationships created between the artists and a range of partners here in Arizona will benefit ASU’s students and extend the work of the university through new, on-going relationships that foster a more connected global network linked through the ASU Art Museum as host and convener, Knox explained.

The residency program involves the leasing of six units to house visiting international artists working on projects in partnership with the ASU Art Museum, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and Arizona State University. The facility also includes a storefront gallery and classroom space, as well as a shared kitchen, common area and resource library where artists can dine together and meet with project partners and members of the community.

Combine Studios was recently purchased by Phoenix artist couple Matthew Moore and Carrie Marill. Each unit was upgraded and furnished by Moore and Marill to provide a “homey” feeling that also celebrates vintage and mid-century aspects of Phoenix. Each unit includes a complete kitchen, private bath and work/study area.

Moore and Marill had a positive experience at another international residency program, Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, which was established by Knox.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring this experience for international artists to downtown Phoenix and to work in partnership with the ASU Art Museum,” Moore said.

The residency program is made possible through a public/private partnership between the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the ASU Art Museum and Combine Studios, LLC, an initiative of Moore and Marill, and with generous support from the Desert Initiative and additional partners.

For more information on the International Residency Program at ASU or the ASU Art Museum, contact Deborah Sussman Susser at