All too often, research is only associated with fields in the sciences. The groundbreaking discoveries you hear about most often are in modern medicine and technology. In fact, if you google the ambiguous words “recent research,” the top search results are from Science Daily and Hopkins Medicine.
The nuance of this distracts from the vast range of research being conducted worldwide, especially diverting from exploration in the arts and humanities. IU is no stranger to this practice, encouraging both professors and students to pursue their inquiries in the form of contemporary liberal arts research.
More than once, opportunities have fallen into my lap for research prospects within the shades of liberal arts education. Over the summer, I began as a researcher with an invitation to apply for a Covid-related project with the Indiana Supreme Court. I was a freshman – with a desire to attend law school – being emailed a letter with the chance to work with the Indiana Supreme Court. Predictably, I was thrilled. Fast forward to me researching and designing with a professor in IU Maurer School of Law an easier way for the public to access and create court documents and file petitions. This was especially needed over the summer as we entered into a Covid quarantine and the courts were closed. Closed courts meant limited entry for people to express their domestic violations, child support complications, and filing forms related to evictions (you may recall many people were out of work during this time and unable to pay rent). These issues couldn’t wait, and I jumped on the idea of getting my feet wet with research experience, all while making a difference in the community.
As the summer drew to a close, another opportunity popped into my inbox, this time looking for researchers to work with the State Department. Like before, this opportunity fell into my lap right as I was ending my freshman and entering into my sophomore year – with an invested interest in government and human rights. This project analyzes the artificial intelligence policies of various countries around the world, focusing on its intersection with human rights grievances. For example, think of a cell phone company’s ability to track your location and call history or China’s extensive surveillance of its citizens. Where do we draw the lines? So after extensive investigating, we take our analyses and write up policy brief reflections and recommendations. The State Department employees can then use them when reaching out to the other countries, aligning our policy goals with human rights protection as a top priority.
All of this goes to show that the possibilities are out there, and they are plentiful. These examples are only a drop in the bucket. Research not only results in curing diseases and creating self-driving cars but also impacts fields such as gender studies, anthropology, and international affairs, to name a few areas. It is an imperative endeavor and relatively easy to find opportunities for participating in research if sought out. The results are just as rewarding, even when you are bound to a laptop conducting the research virtually. Help find the answers to the questions humanity desperately needs to be answered and the concerns society needs to be resolved.
Class of 2023
Cybersecruity & Global Policy B.S.