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.


  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Debating Fish Pain

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

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  • Making Drugs Affordable

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

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  • In Defense of Evidence-Based Policy-Making

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

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  • A New Role for the Humanities?

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Can AI Make Your Job More Interesting?

    Coming Soon

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Endless Industrial Policy

    Coming Soon

  • The Mystery of China’s Glorious Green Dreams

    Coming Soon

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