198. The Politics of Innovation feat. Mark Zachary Taylor
Manage episode 344204266 series 3305636
Innovation seems to occur at uneven rates across different countries. At a time when we’re so intimately connected in all fields and industries, its interesting that there are still such vastly different kinds of technology and innovation happening at the same time all over the world.
Dr. Mark Zachary Taylor, formerly a solid-state physicist, now specializes in S&T politics and policy, political economy, the American presidency, and comparative politics. In his research, he tries to understand the sources of national economic competitiveness.
In his book, “The Politics of Innovation,” he seeks to explain why some countries are better than others at science and technology. He currently studies the role of the US presidency in short-run economic performance, as well as an Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Following the ideas of Cardwell’s Law, Greg and Zach discuss the uneven distribution of innovation globally, how and why we got to this place, and the role of government investments.
There’s a lot of politics in physics
(02:49) As a physicist, you're trained that science is all about efficiency and coming up with the right research and methods. But the deeper you got into it, you realize there was a lot of politics that went into deciding which were the right questions to answer, which were the right methodologies that you would use, and which labs got the funding or not in order to pursue these, and then which got published or not. There was a political aspect to it. And this wasn't being picked up on the sort of economic side, on the politics side.
What makes a great politician?
(49:15) I think we, as voters, should always be on the lookout for politicians who have that vision and who are skilled at politics, and are thoughtful about the policy. If you can combine those three, you've got some winners.
The importance of competition on innovation
(13:04) Whether it's for the individual scientists and engineers who are training or for the companies that they're going to wind up working for or even creating the product spaces, you've got to have that element of competition, or you're going to wind up with this protective turf building. That's going to stagnate over time.
- Faculty Profile at Georgia Institute of Technology
- Mark Zachary Taylor’s Website
- Mark Zachary Taylor on Twitter
- Mark Zachary Taylor on LinkedIn