Acton Institute Powerblog

The State of American Science and Culture, cont’d.

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Following Michael Miller’s recent Acton Commentary, “Why Johnny Can’t Compete with Sanjay”, and the resulting comments, two of America’s best political commentators have also weighed in on the subject.

First there’s Charles Krauthammer’s Time article, arguing that America is doing fine, partly as a result of less dependence on government-funded research.

Then Michael Barone comments on Krauthammer’s argument, along with a request for more information on the role of the private sector in research.

Any takers?

Kishore Jayabalan Kishore Jayabalan is director of Istituto Acton, the Acton Institute's Rome office. Formerly, he worked for the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace as the lead policy analyst on sustainable development and arms control. Kishore Jayabalan earned a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In college, he was executive editor of The Michigan Review and an economic policy intern for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He worked as an international economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C. and then graduated with an M.A. in political science from the University of Toronto. While in Toronto, Kishore interned in the university's Newman Centre, which led to his appointment to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York. Two years later, he returned to Rome to work for the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace as the Holy See's lead policy analyst on sustainable development and arms control. As director of Istituto Acton, Kishore organizes the institute's educational and outreach efforts in Rome and throughout Europe.


  • Sort of,

    R&D is very ill-defined in geenral. Market testing different colors of soap boxes is treated as R&D by many corporations, while a tinkerer in his garage/lab never hits any statistical analysis.

    After 20 years in technology development, I have come to the conclusion that basic research is generally not being done by corporate America, nor would they know what to do with it if they performed basic research.

    I have also concluded that product development is generally not performed well by Research Universities and Institutes, nor would they know what to do with a product if they had one.

    The simple answer is to have universities do basic research and corporates do product development. The hard part is to deny the market to the basic researcher, who wants proprietary control over his basic research, and at the same time, allow corporations to use government sponsored research.

    This leads me to the default answer, in either case, I don’t want to pay for other people’s speculation about technology development, unless I get a cut of the action.