Of all of the purposes of government, one of the most important but often neglected is to mobilize science and technology to solve critical challenges. Modern society depends on highly complex technological systems for our safety and prosperity. Without these advanced technological systems, we’d have no chance to sustain national prosperity, much less to meet the basic material needs of a global population of 7.4 billion people. Yet managing and improving those technologies requires a large and sustained investment by government alongside business and academia.
The key idea here is “directed technological change,” meaning that scientists and engineers are pulled together to solve a complex challenge in the national interest. The challenge is not only important and solvable, but because of its nature, is not the kind of challenge that the private sector alone will solve in a timely way on a for-profit basis.
Head to The Boston Globe to read the full article.
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