Recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) 2011 were unanimous in saying a steady and consistent funding stream helps maintain the country’s brain power and world class R&D infrastructure. It also begins a process that can lead to successful commercialization of ideas and discoveries.
Science and R&D
Are We a Nation of Homer Hickmans or Homer Simpsons?
The 54th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union is a good time to take stock of how the country is reacting to the innovation challenges we face today. Beginning almost immediate in the fall of 1957 and continuing through the 1960s, the U.S. made significant investments in science, education, R&D and aerospace and it paid off in the form of new jobs, even new industries. By contrast, when President Obama tried to rally us to make similar investments by declaring a “Sputnik moment” in 2011, we have seen little meaningful change in policy. If anything, the public mood seems to cut public investments. In this blogpost, Steve Norton wonders if part of the problem is a fatigue and defeatism that seems to have infected the national spirit. He says we can and should snap out of it and points to some proposals ITIF has made to step up our competiveness and get us back on the path to innovation-based leadership.