A core institution in the human endeavor—the public research university—is in transition. As U.S. public universities adapt to a multi-decadal decline in public funding, they risk losing their essential character as a generator, evaluator, and archivist of ideas and as a wellspring of tomorrow’s intellectual, economic, and political leaders. This book explores the core interdependent and coevolving structures of the research university: its physical domain (buildings, libraries, classrooms), administration (governance and funding), and intellectual structures (curricula and degree programs). It searches the U.S. history of the public research university to identify its essential qualities, and generates recommendations that identify the crucial roles of university administration, state government and federal government.
Extinct Monsters to Deep Time is an ethnography that documents the growing friction between the research and outreach functions of the museum in the 21st century. Marsh describes participant observation and historical research at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History as it prepared for its largest-ever exhibit renovation, Deep Time. As a museum ethnography, the book provides a grounded perspective on the inner-workings of the world’s largest natural history museum and the social processes of communicating science to the public.