Breaking News from the Future
In an era when newspapers are downsizing coverage of basic research, how can universities get the word out about breakthroughs?
It’s a problem that puzzled University of Rochester Vice President for Communications Bill Murphy, who hit upon a solution. Last March, Murphy presented a beta version of a Web site called Futurity.org at a meeting of the Association of American Universities. That’s where Rice Vice President for Public Affairs Linda Thrane jumped on board.
The site, a group effort by 33 universities, is dedicated to sharing research breakthroughs directly with the public in an era when traditional news outlets are rapidly shrinking. The site reports on discoveries in science, health, society and culture.
Thrane said that Rice was a good fit for the pioneering project.
“We signed Rice up right away when we learned about this elite venue,” she said. “This is one more option for us to share the tremendous work of our faculty members in ways that reach and interest broad audiences. And that visibility builds respect and support for our faculty and our university.”
Rice already has had more than 20 stories featured on the site, and more are in the works.