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PhDs, policies, and patents: Innovation and America’s future

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Innovation and invention drive the American economy, from the light bulb and mass production of automobiles, to more recent advances like the smartphone and the coordinated effort to map the human genome. But what new breakthrough sciences and technologies are next on the horizon, and what role can U.S. policy play in creating a positive environment to promote innovative developments?

On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, The Hamilton Project at Brookings held a forum on the future of innovation in the United States which explored the challenges to, and opportunities for, furthering advancements to create jobs and spur economic growth.

The forum drew on a wide range of experts from around the country, including the director of the National Institutes of Health, two former U.S. Treasury Secretaries, one of the nation’s leading private investors in the technology industry, a co-chair of the President’s Advisory Board on Science and Technology, a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award winner, the Chief Technology Officer of the United States, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and a group of prominent U.S. economists.

Following each of the panel discussions, the participants took audience questions.



Robert E. Rubin
Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

Panel Discussion: The State of Scientific America

Angela Belcher
Professor of Materials Science Engineering and Biological Engineering, MIT

Francis S. Collins
Director, National Institutes of Health

Moderator: Ann Kellan
Science Correspondent, Cable News Network

Panel Discussion: Obstacles and Opportunities for American Science and Innovation

Tim Bresnahan
Professor of Technology and the Economy, Stanford University

Aneesh Chopra
Chief Technology Officer of the United States

Tyler Cowen
Professor of Economics, George Mason University

Glenn H. Hutchins
Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive, Silver Lake

Moderator: Michael Greenstone
Director, The Hamilton Project

Remarks on President Obama’s Regulatory Review Process

Cass Sunstein
Administrator, The Office of Information and Regulatory and Affairs

Introduction: Roger C. Altman
Founder and Chairman, Evercore Partners

Panel Discussion: A Path Forward — The Future of Innovation in the United States

Eric Lander
Founding Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Co-Chair of the President’s Advisory Board on Science and Technology

Lawrence H. Summers
Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
Former Assistant to the President for Economic Policy
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

Moderator: Greg Ip
U.S. Economics Editor, The Economist