Penn State helps to launch Futurity research Web site

September 14, 2009

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State has joined with 34 other leading research universities to launch Futurity, a Web site offering news about the latest advances in science, engineering, health, the environment and more.

All of the stories at http://www.futurity.org are designed to inform readers, stir their imaginations and remind them that research matters, according to Michael Bezilla, director of research communications in the Office of University Relations, which is coordinating Penn State's participation in the cooperative effort.

All 35 participating institutions are members of the American Association of Universities, a nonprofit organization of distinguished research universities. The site is free to all users and contains no advertising.

"Coverage of research news by conventional media such as newspapers and the broadcast television networks is shrinking," Bezilla said. "The public is the poorer for that de-emphasis in coverage, so through Futurity we chose to engage our various constituencies directly. The Web site is essentially a bridge between the scientific community and broader audiences."

He noted that using Newswires, Penn State Live (http://live.psu.edu) and various social media such as Facebook and Twitter, Penn State already delivers University news that includes research-related content to more than a half-million readers. Futurity will extend that reach significantly.

"The kind of information that Penn State and our partner institutions make available on Futurity should interest a broad segment of the public, and will also make information more accessible to science writers, general news reporters and other professionals," Bezilla said.

Penn State's submissions to Futurity will consist of news stories and related materials produced by University Relations and other Penn State research communicators. The stories will reflect the depth and breadth of the University's approximately $750 million research enterprise.

Another goal is to demonstrate that the federal, state and private funds that support research at member institutions are being put to good use in addressing the critical challenges that confront society.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 06, 2010