Cornell researchers are demonstrating many other
ways that technology can contribute to improving
health. At Cornell Tech, students earning a Technion-Cornell dual master’s in health tech are honing their
technological skills and knowledge to meet the needs
of the healthcare system. Also at Cornell Tech, the
Small Data Lab—directed by Professor Deborah
Estrin, PhD, who is also a public health professor at
WCM—creates apps that use private data traces to
provide insights and assist individuals with health-related decisions.
The HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz
Al-Saud Institute for Computational Biomedicine at
Weill Cornell Medicine is
also doing interesting work
with mathematical modeling
and large-scale data analysis
to deal with complex medical problems—for instance,
by studying genomes and
physiological systems. Many
other WCM institutes are
immersed in advanced technologies. And all of this work
contributes to the WCM
mission by enhancing the
quality of patient care and
the value of research.
We are hearing a lot about the importance of
strengthening and expanding collaborations
between Cornell’s campuses. Why are these
bridges, especially between ithaca and New
york City, so important for Cornell and for
this moment in higher education?
This month, we will dedicate the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. It’s an exciting moment
for Cornell to be at the forefront of New York City’s
evolving ecosystem for tech entrepreneurship.
Cornell’s growth on Roosevelt Island is underpinned
by decades of work in New York City—primarily by
‘i am discovering an abundant interest
by faculty, students, and staff in building
synergies between our upstate and
downstate campuses. There is a major—
and growing—flow of information, people,
ideas, and opportunities in both directions.’
Weill Cornell Medicine, which, with its ties to New
York-Presbyterian and other top-flight facilities, is part
of a robust scientific corridor known for innovative
clinical care and research. I expect we’ll see many
joint projects by WCM and Cornell Tech researchers
in areas like bioinformatics and health technology.
At the same time, many of our Ithaca colleges and
schools offer academic and research programs in
the city, and Cornell Cooperative Extension delivers
knowledge to residents across the five boroughs.
I am discovering an abundant interest by faculty,
students, and staff in building synergies between our
upstate and downstate campuses. For example, the
Hinge Project supports Ithaca-based faculty, primarily
from the humanities, policy, and social sciences, who
want to teach or conduct research in New York City.
As vice dean focused on academic integration, Gary
Koretzky, PhD, helps to foster collaborations in genetics, computational biology, and data sciences. Weill
Cornell Medicine is currently expanding its rural
residency program with partners in Ithaca. There is
a major—and growing—flow of information, people,
ideas, and opportunities in both directions.
you have spoken of the need for evidence
to shape both science and public policy,
and for the public to support scientific
ways of evaluating evidence. How will you
lead Cornell’s efforts to both drive national
dialogue and advocate for public policy that’s
grounded in evidence?
You don’t have to be a scientist to recognize how
important it is to use solid evidence rather than
simply ideology to make decisions about public policy—or about your own individual beliefs. Cornell
and other colleges and universities have an important
role to play in promoting evidence-based reasoning.
We do that, first of all, in the way we educate our
students. Our faculty emphasize the value of critical
thinking, clear written and oral communication, and
reasoned, respectful debate. Cornell also disseminates knowledge beyond our campuses—through
outreach programs like Cooperative Extension, by
making faculty expertise available to the media, and
by conducting research and publicizing research
results. Our democracy depends on informed, reasoning citizens, and in an age of media overload,
higher education must combat the tendency to
accept unsubstantiated assertions as truth.
What do the current uncertainties around
federal funding for research in science and
medicine mean for the future of research and
our society? P H O T O : J A