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Fall 2021 Magazine

The Post-Pandemic 8 to 5

The commute, the water cooler talks, the in-person meetings. Have we missed these things? Or can the research enterprise, for the most part, stay virtual? "Many people who have been working from home are experiencing a void they can't quite name," said Jerry Useem in The Atlantic. Maybe getting back to our old routine will do us good. Tracy Brower in Forbes wrote, "Many … [Read more...] about The Post-Pandemic 8 to 5

The Acceleration of Innovation

When the world came to a halt in 2020 due to COVID-19, innovation moved forward as normal day to day operations went virtual. Small business incubators like the University of Houston Technology Bridge, The Cannon and The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, have found that, even during a lockdown, new innovations and leading-edge technologies have become easier to … [Read more...] about The Acceleration of Innovation

The Student Worker vs. The Fellow

Who you hire in your lab matters when it comes to employment regulations. Two students stand in a lab, pipetting their hearts out. They look as though they are doing identical tasks, but one is training and one is working. Which is which? It depends on the funding sources and their requirements, and not necessarily on the nature of the activity performed. In fact, … [Read more...] about The Student Worker vs. The Fellow

Changing The Model of Research

The proposed 2022 White House Budget — is more money the only answer? By Claudia Neuhauser, Ph. D. Associate Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, Professor of Mathematics, University of Houston Brian Herman, Ph. D. Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and former Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota and University of Texas … [Read more...] about Changing The Model of Research

A Remarkable Government Investment

The PWA — the Public Works Administration — was, according to my father, a terrible exercise in government waste. Given the choice between creating soup kitchens and jobs during the Great Depression, the “New Deal” opted for a huge public works program, paid for by new taxes. So, while my father cursed, Washington created low-paying jobs for everyone from laborers to poets … [Read more...] about A Remarkable Government Investment

A Conflict of Conflicts

Meet Professor Doolittle, a biologist and chair of Genetics at Zoo U. After studying genetic mutations in small-ear pigs to better understand coat color variation for breed preservation and development, Doolittle and his post-doc invented a genetic test and launched a startup called PigMentation. The post-doctoral co-inventor runs PigMentation's day-to-day business … [Read more...] about A Conflict of Conflicts

Funny You Should Ask: Does Absence Really Make The Heart Grow Fonder?

"Funny You Should Ask" is The Big Idea Magazine's recurring segment in which UH professors are asked to weigh in on an idiomatic saying, and their musings on this edition's adage couldn't be more different. The pandemic was indeed a strange predicament, as social distancing and isolation became the new normal. We changed the way we worked, interacted with family and friends, … [Read more...] about Funny You Should Ask: Does Absence Really Make The Heart Grow Fonder?