Chancellor's Welcome Message

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Matthew Goldstein I am very pleased to introduce the CUNY/New York Times in College 2013 calendar, “Inventing the Future: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in America.” This well-timed calendar not only highlights the importance of the STEM fields to the advancement of new discoveries but also emphasizes the collaborative nature of scientific breakthroughs. For example, the incandescent light bulb was the work of a large group of scientists at Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park “invention factory” who were competing with other research teams to complete the first marketable electric bulb. Alexander Graham Bell is best remembered for inventing the telephone, but his greatest legacy may be Bell Labs, which conducted research to create the first fax machine in 1925, the transistor in 1947, the laser in 1958, and the first orbital communications satellite in 1962. No single inventor can take credit for these and other inventions and innovations; it was the brilliant collaboration of many great minds in the STEM disciplines that developed them. <read more>

During World War II, universities also became central to STEM research. Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania were pioneers in early computer research. With the onset of the Cold War, the federal government greatly increased its funding of public and private research universities and they became centers of both applied and basic research, including the foundations of what would become the Internet.

The STEM theme is timely for both the nation and The City University of New York. To compete in the world economy, the United States must invest in STEM disciplines. CUNY’s Decade of Science initiative, begun in 2005, has strengthened the University’s commitment to STEM participation and proficiency. Enrollment in CUNY’s STEM disciplines increased by 35 percent from 2005 to 2010, and there has been a 25 percent increase in STEM faculty since 2006. CUNY is also constructing new science facilities, most notably the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) scheduled to open on the City College campus in 2014. The ASRC will provide high-end equipment and space for research in photonics, nanotechnology, water and environmental sensing, structural biology, and neuroscience. Other major initiatives include the CUNY Energy Institute, which is conducting research to improve the efficiency of electric, electrochemical, and thermal energy storage to enable utilization of renewable energy sources, and the Environmental Crossroads Initiative, an internationally recognized research center dedicated to the analysis of strategic local, regional, and global environmental challenges.

CUNY is also increasing its public outreach through the development of television programs like Science & U, which examines the world of science through today’s headlines and demonstrates its importance in everyday life, referencing many of the themes in this year’s calendar. At the bottom of each month is a QR code that links to an episode of Science & U related to that month’s theme.

The concept and development of the 2013 “Inventing the Future” calendar and website have been guided by CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Board Secretary Jay Hershenson and LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. Their vision has been realized by Richard K. Lieberman, director of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives and professor of history at LaGuardia Community College, and his colleagues at the archives, Associate Project Directors Steven A. Levine and Stephen Weinstein, and Assistant Project Director Tara Jean Hickman. The project has received valuable input from some of the University’s finest scholars, whose participation underscores the integrity of the content. The calendar’s one-ofa- kind images were sourced from both the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives and The New York Times photo archives.

For more than 30 years, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives has produced exemplary calendars and lesson plans on a variety of subjects, including the history of the New York City Council and the origins of public housing. For the past eight of those years, the archives has produced the CUNY/New York Times in College calendar projects, consisting of printed calendars, websites, and curricula focused on the following topics: voting rights and citizenship, women’s leadership, immigrants, city life, freedom, public higher education, health, and the economy.

The commitment of the calendar’s sponsors has been particularly important. CUNY offers special thanks to JPMorgan Chase Chairman and C.E.O. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis, Senior Vice Presidents Leonard Colica, Michael Nevins, and Timothy G. Noble, and Executive Director Kim Jasmin. We are deeply appreciative of our ongoing partnership with our esteemed colleagues at The New York Times in College for making the calendar widely accessible, facilitating the curricular elements, and providing access and publication rights to The New York Times’s archival photos. With the help of The New York Times in College, accessible online at, CUNY is collaborating with faculty, administrators, and students in states nationwide. In particular, we want to acknowledge and thank these Times colleagues: Diane McNulty, executive director community affairs and media relations; Susan Mills, managing director, education; Stephanie Doba, Newspaper in Education manager; and Tom Glieden and Walter Barleycorn, education account managers.

CUNY Science BuildingThanks are also due to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. Their historic support and funding of the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives and its calendars and curricula have helped the archives to preserve history and make it available and accessible to the public.

“Inventing the Future” is a work of scholarship, enabling an understanding of the history of science, technology, engineering, and math and the impact that breakthroughs in these fields have on society. The University takes great pride in the partnerships that allow the calendar to bring this history to life.