Where Good Technologies Come From: Case Studies in American Innovation

December 23, 2010 at 7:03 am Leave a comment

Interesting argument about the role of the federal government in generating innovation.

One answer is visionary presidents. From George Washington
to George W. Bush, under presidents both Republican and Democrat,
the unbroken history of American innovation is one of active
partnership between public and private sectors. Washington helped
deliver interchangeable parts, which revolutionized manufacturing.
Lincoln, the railroads and agricultural centers at land grant
colleges. Eisenhower, interstate highways and nuclear power;
Kennedy, microchips. But some of America’s most important
technologies came out of programs that spanned multiple presidents,
as in the case of medical and biotechnology research; President
Richard Nixon launched the quest to cure cancer in 1971, while
funding for the National Institutes of Health tripled under
Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Another answer is war.
Interchangeable parts were developed at public armories, originally
for rifles. One hundred and fifty years later, microchips,
computing, and the Internet were created to guide rockets and
communicate during nuclear war; today those technologies power our
laptops and smartphones.

via The
Breakthrough Institute: Where Good Technologies Come From: Case
Studies in American Innovation
.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Workshop on Computer Architecture Education Teaching Computer Science through Inquiry

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