In Celebration of Science at Rutgers

April 20, 2017

Members of the Rutgers Community:

With the upcoming March for Science focusing national attention on science and the role it plays in American life, we at Rutgers have much to celebrate about the contributions we have made, and continue to make, in scientific research. 

I’m proud to say that Rutgers is pursuing life-changing scientific discoveries in so many areas, including precision medicine, transportation infrastructure, energy research, drug development, wireless technology, disease diagnostics, nutrition and food science, proteomics, genetics, sustainable materials, computational biology, brain health, autism research, and much more.

Rutgers scientists gave the world the antibiotic streptomycin, proved the case against smoking, and identified the first AIDS cases. Today our scientists are changing our understanding of oceans, developing world-renowned turfgrass, and revolutionizing the way we test for tuberculosis. Our faculty conducted more than $650 million in research last year alone, more than half of that funded by federal grants.

In our classrooms and labs, our professors are training students who will become the scientists, physicians, engineers, and inventors who will add to our stores of knowledge and further improve human health, explore and protect the natural environment, and advance economic development.

True to our service mission, we are also applying our scientific expertise to help our state’s communities through the programs of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). For instance, the Water Resources Program has helped towns better manage their storm-water runoff through green infrastructure practices such as porous pavement and rain gardens, and our Haskins Shellfish Research Laboratory has helped revive the oyster industry in southern New Jersey. We also support New Jersey with science in other ways, too; for example, we bring our medical knowledge to New Jersey residents through our clinical practices, clinical trials, and community health programs.

Science matters to everyone.  It affects all of us, and for a research university like Rutgers, it is at the heart of what we do. It is important to remind ourselves, and all those we serve as a public research university, of our ongoing commitment to excellence in science and scientific research. In that pursuit, our Office of Research and Development provides essential guidance while our Federal Relations team advocates for research funding on Capitol Hill.

I share the sentiments of those from Rutgers who intend to participate in demonstrations in support of science this weekend, including the March for Science in Washington. I also respect the rights of others who have dissenting viewpoints and wish to express them.

Please take a moment to view a new video with a number of Rutgers voices expressing why science matters and see a Q&A with the Office of Federal Relations. I also invite you to read my op-ed on science, published this morning by USA Today


Robert Barchi