Recent ECAR research has suggested that despite rising demand for central IT engagement in scholarship of a data-intensive, multi-institutional, and interdisciplinary nature, most of us are not really "there" for our research communities. But we need to get there. The research methods of more and more disciplines rely on the computation and management of large and complex data sets, often carried out in collaborative digital environments. The 2008 Summer Symposium looked at the future of academic exploration and the role that the information technology community plays in this vital part of higher education's mission. Eminent researchers told us about emerging IT-influenced work in fields including medicine, biology, history, and the arts. As always, symposium sessions encouraged interaction at the nexus of theory, analysis, and practice.