What Is To Be Done?

The United States find itself in a crisis of cognitive dissonance: though the nation remains the world’s leader in science and technology by almost any measure, the widely shared benefits that such leadership was supposed to deliver to society seem to be drifting farther from reach. That the crown jewel of America’s scientific preeminence—biomedical science—has failed so spectacularly to protect society as a whole, and vulnerable populations in particular, from the COVID-19 virus has brought these contradictions into excruciating visibility.

Forum

  • Throw Out Your Economics Textbooks

    Innovation scholars are well aware that it is business firms that do most of the innovation (albeit with considerable financial assistance and institutional support from government), yet textbook economic models fail to understand the firm-level factors so critical to understanding innovative success.

    Read More
  • Control in Crisis

    “The modernist project has been upended by a series of deep and unpredicted crises in economics, politics, security, technology, climate, and now, with COVID-19, in public health.” Readers respond to “COVID-19 and the Futility of Control in the Modern World” by Andrew Stirling and Ian Scoones.

    Read More
  • Who Benefits From Science?

    “In some circumstances, science and technology progress makes life harder for people, especially those already marginalized by class, gender, race, occupation, and location.” Readers respond to “Public Value Science” by Barry Bozeman.

    Read More
  • Debating Fish Pain

    Readers respond to “The Great Fish Pain Debate” by Troy Vettese, Becca Franks, and Jennifer Jacquet.

    Read More
  • Making Drugs Affordable

    What’s the best way to ensure affordable drugs? Experts weigh in on “Whose Drugs Are These?” by Bhaven Sampat.

    Read More
  • In Defense of Evidence-Based Policy-Making

    Responses to “The Science Policy We Deserve” by Daniel Sarewitz.

    Read More
  • A New Role for the Humanities?

    Responses to the Socrates Untenured column “New Wine and New Bottles” by Robert Frodeman.

    Read More

Perspectives

  • A Better Approach to Railroad Safety and Operation

    In June 2004, a westbound Union Pacific Railroad freight train in Macdona, Texas, struck the midpoint of an eastbound BNSF Railway Company freight train as it was leaving the main line to enter a parallel siding. The derailment caused a car loaded with pressurized, liquefied chlorine to be punctured, creating a cloud of chlorine gas more than a quarter-mile in diameter.

    Read More
  • “We Don’t Know What This Is Yet”

    “We haven’t thought our way through this challenge, especially when it comes to these industries that have been so hard hit. Now that we’re in the next phase, we need to be geared up for something that’s going to last another couple years, and that money may be better used to start preparing people for new jobs.”

    Read More
  • The Return of Science and Technology Assessment for Congress

    The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into stark relief the nation’s urgent need for timely, reliable scientific information. Though information on the pandemic is in ample supply, less readily available is reliable analysis of what this flood of information means.

    Read More

Features

  • The Mystery of China’s Glorious Green Dreams

    Between Beijing’s soaring climate change agenda and its lackluster implementation lies a political paradox, and understanding it requires delving into the institutional constraints embedded in China’s climate and environmental politics at the local and national level.

    Read More
  • Endless Industrial Policy

    Declining to talk about industrial policies has not meant that the United States does not pursue them by other names and other means. It does mean that thoughtful approaches to industrial policy, supported by sound analysis, evidence-based reasoning, and vigorous open debate, have rarely been pursued.

    Read More
  • Can AI Make Your Job More Interesting?

    This evolution will change the character of work and the firm as profoundly as industrial automation did in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with correspondingly profound implications for individuals, businesses, and policy-makers.

    Read More
  • Will Robotic Trucks Be “Sweatshops on Wheels”?

    When Americans talk about automation, they tend to ask first how many jobs are at risk, or more broadly, how many jobs will there be, who will do them, and where will they be located. These are the wrong questions.

    Read More
  • In the Realm of the Barely Feasible

    Inspired by Endless Frontier, a broad set of organizations, incentives, and relationships evolved after World War II. To meet the challenges we now face, we need a generational advance in our innovation ecosystem with new methods, new participants, and new incentives.

    Read More
  • Congress Has Ruined America’s Beaches

    Just as geologists were realizing that beach development damaged beaches, the government began working to support development that in turn generated new demands for still more infrastructure on the beach. As a result, today the nation faces a shattered coastal landscape and continuing bills for spending to prop up all of this beachfront building.

    Read More
  • A “Sedative” for Science Policy

    The United States is in the midst of a historically catastrophic response to COVID-19 that should raise questions about Bush’s continuing influence on science policies. The central metaphor of the endless frontier draws on an influential but severely dated and misleading conception of American history, which hides challenges and problems in the guise of idyllic imagery.

    Read More

Real Numbers

Book Reviews

  • NIETZSCHEAN MEDITATIONS by Steve Fuller

    Blank and Pitiless

    One person’s truth is another’s fake news, as social media offer new ways to manipulate people. The COVID-19 pandemic now encapsulates all our fears: is nature striking back? Is the novel coronavirus an engineered bioweapon? Can government pronouncements be trusted?

    Read More
  • ALTERED INHERITANCE by Francoise Baylis

    An Elusive Consensus

    Coming Soon

Explore more Issues