University of Iowa

Authored by Daniel Reed

Photo of Daniel Reed
1/23/2016

Scholarship essential for human progress

If the phrase "academic research" brings to mind tweedy professors poring over rare manuscripts or bespectacled scientists in lab coats examining glass beakers — you’re probably not alone. Nor is the stereotype entirely wrong; I’ve certainly dressed the part of rumpled geek during my career, to the occasional chagrin of my family. The prolonged and often unglamorous work of studying how social, economic and political forces shaped history, or how the universe operates down to the subatomic level and out at the furthest edges of space can seem mysterious, tedious and irrelevant to people outside of academia.