What ties the stories in this issue of the Lehigh Research Review together so that they are more than a collection of stories about discovery and creativity? It’s the importance of working in an interdisciplinary environment.
Lehigh University believes that collaboration among faculty from across disciplines is critical to being creative, advancing research and addressing the world’s complex and pressing problems. By talking with each other and thinking about each other’s work, we can begin to pose larger questions. Where does the research connect? How can faculty from fields that span engineering and the sciences, the social sciences, the humanities and the arts integrate ideas and methods of discovery?
We are reminded of the poet W. H. Auden’s perspectives in The Dyer’s Hand: “In the eyes of others a man is a poet if he has written one good poem. In his own he is only a poet at the moment when he is making his last revision to a new poem. The moment before, he was still only a potential poet; the moment after, he is a man who has ceased to write poetry, perhaps forever.” Replace the word “poet” with “researcher” and think of writing poems as creating products, and, in a sense, this is fundamentally what unites researchers: the sweet thrill of discovery.
Lehigh has a long history of innovation. In 2022, the university entered an exciting new era with the opening of its expansive Health, Science and Technology Building, which quite literally eliminates walls—and barriers—to collaboration. Also as part of a strategic planning process underway, Lehigh is exploring new paths to interdisciplinary research and community-engaged research that centers community needs, goals and experiences in the process.
We are proud of our faculty’s work. We hope you enjoy this issue.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Vice Provost for Research