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Fall 2019

Science: An Innovation Ecosystem

cell icons above test tubes in lab

Understanding and curing diseases such as cancer requires continuous innovation. Learn how Oregon State science innovations are contributing to human health and beyond on page 6 of the magazine.

We are eager to welcome the Class of 2023 and all of our returning students to campus. The campus is a little empty without students, and I look forward to having them back soon for fall term. It is such a privilege to see our students grow and develop as scientists during their time in the College of Science.

Last spring, we graduated 617 students with baccalaureate degrees with nearly 80% of them in the life sciences. We awarded 64 master’s degrees and 70 Ph.D.s, more than one-fifth of OSU’s 329 Ph.D.s. We graduated 20 new chemistry and 16 new mathematics Ph.D.s. We are extremely proud of the Class of 2019, and we look forward to their future accomplishments and innovations in science.

The theme of this issue is innovation. In science we see Innovation as the application of research to benefit society, whether it is through economic growth, solving a pressing problem, or providing popular insights about life and the universe. The College is prioritizing growth in research and student opportunities. Innovation is a strategic way to do both because innovation generates funding opportunities for research, while creating opportunities for internships and permanent jobs for our students. The goal is to harness the synergy between scientific research, market needs and student learning and development. This type of approach will better position the College of Science to develop innovative and effective solutions to society’s greatest challenges.

One way we are generating innovation is through our Science Research and Innovation Seed (SciRIS) program, which is supported in part by generous alumni and friends. SciRIS funds multiple teams in three stages: several teams at the early stage of innovation, a couple of teams at mid-stage that show increasing promise, and one team at late-stage research that is making excellent progress toward a project that will increase research and innovation at OSU and beyond. To increase our ability to provide solutions to pressing problems for the state, nation and the world, we need to build teams of inspired scientists working across disciplines.

Our faculty and students continue to enhance the impact of Oregon State University through the resourceful application of science, technology and innovation. I encourage you to read about our faculty’s promising innovation projects on the following pages.

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science