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2001 ISSUE


Originally published in the Winter 2001 Virginia Tech Research Magazine.

Material appearing in the Virginia Tech Research Magazine may be reprinted provided the endorsement of a commercial product is not stated or implied. Please credit the researchers involved and Virginia Tech.

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From ways of life and quality of life to life itself, this issue is about survival

By Leonard K. Peters
Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School (2001)

The Caribbean people are assaulted by the elements — wind, water, and the Earth itself in the form of volcanic eruption — all of which have a leveling effect on social orders, as well as on the land.

American Indians struggle against infringement and to meet their daily needs amidst layers of American government, and have found a resource for control in casino gambling.

Young black men in our cities often are just trying to grow up and learn how to live and thrive despite broken families, violent role models, and negative assumptions from the majority population. An educational system that pays intense and caring attention to each individual’s needs is providing “a crystal stair” and turning lives around.

American workers who struggled against being an expendable resource a decade ago are finding justice in the workplace in a tight labor market. If the new social contract has time to prove its worth before the next economic flux, perhaps future organizational changes can be accomplished with humanity.

Clean energy sources to fuel our vehicles, power our businesses and technologies, and heat our homes will help the Earth survive our needs and wants.

The information technology toolkit makes it possible for life scientists to break the code of instructions for life itself, holding out the golden rings of more efficient production of food and materials and of control of disease processes, whether genetic or infectious.

Already, we have depleted the oceans. But aquaculture will maintain and enhance fish in our diets and the harvesting of fish as a livelihood. And the same technology will save endangered species.

Learning how NOT to change our world will help some of the glorious corners, such as the Grand Canyon, survive.

And these are only a few examples of thousands of research projects at only one university. In the face of such energy, caring, creativity, discovery, and knowledge, you have to feel good about our chances of survival.