Innovation Starvation or Risk Avoidance?

While working on our report on Using Emerging Technologies to Address Global Risks, one of my favourite SciFi authors, Neal Stephenson, popped up with an essay on Innovation Starvation. It echoes Tyler Cowen‘s arguments that all the easy big stuff has been done,  and that all we have left to look forward to are incremental improvements rather than world changing …

Advertisements

Building a .-tech economy from the ashes of the current one

Thomas Friedman in this weekends New York Times echoes my recent thoughts on how to get us out of the credit crunch recession: As we invest taxpayer money, let’s do it with an eye to starting a new generation of biotech, info-tech, nanotech and clean-tech companies, with real innovators, real 21st-century jobs and potentially real profits for taxpayers. Our motto …

The Physical Sciences are the Cornerstone of Prosperity for the US Future

The new US administration seems to be moving quickly, allowing the use of embryonic stem cells and Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu addressed all the national labs yesterday. A couple of the heartening points reported at CosmicVariance are The DOE is the principal supporter of physical sciences in the US, and the physical sciences are the conernstone of prosperity for …

A Lazy, Moribund, Oligopolistic Industry Bereft of the Incentive for Innovation

Following on from my previous post, and addressing the thesis that imitation – not innovation – is woven into the fabric of the 20th century venture economy, Umair Haque at recently penned a nice article at harvardbusiness.org called “Asleep at the Wheel of Creative Destruction” Here’s the question everyone wants to ask: Q. Why does President Obama have to invest …

From Ideals To Internecine Warfare In One Day?

Robert Service has a nice (but short) piece at Science highlighting the problems face by the Obama administration in implementing the new nanotech bill. As usual, what seems perfectly simple task to an outsider results in a series of political power squabbles, especially when it comes to appointing a “NanoTzar—for all EHS research across the 25 federal agencies that are …

Good Riddance to Bad Science

I enjoyed Rick Weiss’”Good Riddance” piece directed at the outgoing US administration, and it probably echoes  the views of many US based researchers. Good riddance to the lies, the deception, the White House-edited pseudoscience reports. Good riddance to the stacked science advisory committees, the faux peer-review of proposed regulations, the junkyard claims of “junk science.” Good riddance to the scientist …

Science to Save Us?

New president Obama’s speech was an oratorial tour de force, if somewhat grim in it’s outlook, but it was good to hear that he understands what many politicians don’t – that to get out of the current mess we find ourselves in, it all starts with great science (although this may take longer than from now to the next election). …