Let us introduce Eunhee Sohn of Georgia Tech, which is in Atlanta, Georgia. Eunhee, you recently joined the TIM Executive Committee as an At-Large member - thanks for your service! So…
What are your research interests right now?
Through my work, I investigate the organizational processes and individual incentives of economic actors that build new technological industries and scientific fields. In some sense, my research interest is in understanding the emergence of other economic actors' research interest - "How do companies and individuals choose their area of research/innovation?" "When and why do companies and individuals become influenced by their local environment?" I'm using the term "emergence" here because I recently attended the TIM-UNC Emergence Conference and found the overarching theme to be fascinating. I've been always interested in understanding the process of new industry and cluster formation and I was able to gain a ton of new insight and inspiration. I also recently became interested in gender issues after watching the documentary, "Picture a Scientist". While our discourses mostly focus on high-profile incidents, I believe we need to better understand more covert issues that lie beneath - what is called "the Iceberg of Sexual Harassment".
What do you think is your most exciting contribution to academia?
My research examines how industry and government initiatives in the downstream sector shape the upstream path of innovation, often in the context of new industry and local cluster emergence. For example, my work examine how the emergence of local agbio industry spurred the growth of academic research in plant biotechnology, and how the emergence of civil aviation shaped the growth of early aircraft innovation. To summarize, I think that the exciting contribution of my research is to expand our discourses on the bilateral path of innovation by shedding light on the downstream-to-upstream interactions in the industry and scientific value chain.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
I am a Third-Culture Kid (now an adult!) - born and raised in Korea, lived in Hong Kong for some time as a kid, went to a Chinese international school, studied abroad for a bit in Beijing and now I've lived almost a quarter of my life in the U.S. So I have a natural passion for travel and languages. My most epic trip was solo backpacking from China all the way down to Bangladesh - now I can't believe that I did this land trip by myself without a smartphone/GPS. Everything was beautiful from start to finish but Tibet was the most memorable place on this trip. My Chinese is now really rusty, but now I've picked up some Spanish, French and Italian, so maybe one day I'll go on an epic European trip!