It’s practically a requirement to raise an eyebrow at a person who calls herself an innovator. Innovator. It’s such a grand word. Isn’t that something we get to brand a person, not something she gets to call herself? Yet, every once in a while, somebody gets a pass. Or more than a pass. Every once in a while you come across a person who really should have “innovator” bedazzled on all of her shirts and printed on her license plates.
Take, for instance, Cathy Davidson. After a few minutes of eyeballs a-jumping through her bio—co-founder of the 7,000-member Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), former Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies at Duke from 1998-2006, current English professor at Duke; after scrolling through the list of books she’s written or edited, which cover territory from understanding Japanese culture to the rise of the American novel to brain science; after finding out about her role in the creation of programs at Duke, including the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and the program in Information Science + Information Studies (ISIS); and, even more so, after hearing the sheer excitement in her voice when she discusses the Internet, education, her newfound love of young adult fiction and her ability to tie ideas together and make them accessible—well, innovator sounds downright humble.Read the profile.