Journal Explores State of U.S. Innovative Capacity
Although the United States has long been the world leader in innovation, there are indications that it is currently not keeping pace with the rest of the world, according to a report in the Spring 2010 Issues in Science and Technology.
The article, by Brian Kahin of the Computer & Communications Industry Association and Christopher T. Hill of George Mason University, praises the Obama administration’s new innovation strategy as “the first effort by a U.S. administration to address innovation comprehensively.” But the writers argue that an overarching agency must have the power to coordinate and implement innovation policy.
The administration’s strategy is detailed in an article in by two top White House advisers. Diana Farrell, deputy director of the National Economic Council, and Thomas Kalil, deputy director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, argue that the during the bubble years of the past decade, the United States underinvested in certain key areas—education, infrastructure, energy, health care, and research—that are crucial for sustaining lasting economic prosperity.
Farrell and Kalil reject the laissez-fair strategies of the past decade, while warning about the hazards of overzealous government intervention. “The true choice in innovation is not between government and no government,” they write, “but about the right type of government involvement in support of innovation.”
Other articles for this tour of global innovation policy were written by Brazil’s science minister, the chairman of Singapore’s innovation agency, Ireland’s chief science advisor, and the director of education statistics at the OECD.
Also in the Spring 2010 Issues:
- “Start with a Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health.” Three authors affiliated with the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC, write that focusing on the health and education of adolescent girls must be a key component of any international development strategy.
- “Double-Edged DNA: Preventing the Misuse of Gene Synthesis.” Jonathan B. Tucker of the Monterey Institute of International Studies writes that fostering industry self-regulation, backed up with targeted government policies, is the best way to capture the benefits and reduce the risks of synthetic genomics.
Issues in Science and Technology is the award-winning journal of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the University of Texas at Dallas. www.issues.org
The Spring 2010 Issues in Science and Technology explores indications that the U.S. is losing ground as a world leader in innovation.
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