The Polsky Innovation Indicator found that 71 percent of Americans believe research universities are a “major force” in driving U.S. innovation, considerably more than the number who said that of large corporations, startup businesses or government. The survey also points to real challenges for global competitiveness, with just one in four people viewing America as the global leader in innovation.
A small number of scientists stand at the top of their fields, commanding the lion's share of research funding, awards, citations, and prestigious academic appointments. But are they better and smarter than their peers? Or is this a classic example of success breeding success -- a phenomenon known as the "Matthew effect"?
Buildings are the single largest energy-consuming sector in the U.S. economy, representing approximately 75% of the nation’s electricity use and 40% of its total energy demand, resulting in Americans spending nearly $400 billion each year to power homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other commercial and residential buildings.
Last year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) considered multiple strategies to address the implicit bias toward researchers with ‘proven track records’ during its existing grant making process.
Facebook launched an official research program in 2009, giving the academic community tightly controlled access to a ballooning set of granular data about social interactions and activity. It quickly became a “holy grail” for social scientists, who have been drawing on it to publish important new findings almost daily. The question now is whether this kind of scientific research will end up being curtailed in the continuing backlash against data-sharing of any sort.
The congressionally requested report includes recommendations to open career paths inside and outside of academia for early career scientists, broaden responsibility among public and private stakeholders for the future of the research ecosystem, and increase policy experimentation and investment in that research ecosystem, so that scientists are empowered to imagine new and innovative treatments for diseases and improvements to health and well-being.
“Our country is used to leading the world in technology innovation and service delivery,” Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, said Thursday at an event on “Unleashing American Innovation.” “And at one time, the U.S. government was the catalyst of much of that innovation.” The current administration, she suggested, is committed to getting back there.
The Chinese government has been aggressively incentivizing increased patent filings. In many ways, China’s innovation economy is a near photo-negative of the current iteration of the U.S. patent system.
The lone-genius narrative is a powerful one. Picturing one person in a lab declaring “Eureka” is certainly easier than imagining an international team using a cross-time-zone conference call to finalize plans for their upcoming 17-minute window on a lunar orbiter. Even researchers who study trends in scientific collaboration have to reference the powerful idea. But research has shown that science is far from a lonely endeavor and has been gravitating towards dramatically larger teams over the last century.