Selected Readings

bridges vol. 31, October 2011 / Selected Readings

A selection of recent notable publications in science, technology, education and innovation policy, and related areas.


Selected Readings In:
Science, Technology & Society
Innovation 
Environment




Science, Technology & Society         
Triumph of the City_small.jpgTriumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier

Edward Glaeser
Penguin Press, 2011


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From the Publisher
: Glaeser travels through history and around the globe to reveal the hidden workings of cities and how they bring out the best in humankind. Even the worst cities – Kinshasa, Kolkata, Lagos – confer surprising benefits on the people who flock to them, including better health and more jobs than the rural areas that surround them. Glaeser visits Bangalore and Silicon Valley, whose strangely similar histories prove how essential education is to urban success and how new technology actually encourages people to gather together physically. He discovers why Detroit is dying while other old industrial cities – Chicago, Boston, New York – thrive. He investigates why a new house costs 350 percent more in Los Angeles than in Houston, even though building costs are only 25 percent higher in L.A. He pinpoints the single factor that most influences urban growth – January temperatures – and explains how certain chilly cities manage to defy that link. He explains how West Coast environmentalists have harmed the environment, and how struggling cities from Youngstown to New Orleans can "shrink to greatness." And he exposes the dangerous anti-urban political bias that is harming both cities and the entire country.
Fatal_Invention_small.jpgFatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century

Dorothy Roberts
The New Press, 2011


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From the Publisher
: A decade after the Human Genome Project proved that human beings are not naturally divided by race, the emerging fields of personalized medicine, reproductive technologies, genetic genealogy, and DNA databanks are attempting to resuscitate race as a biological category written in our genes. In this provocative analysis, leading legal scholar and social critic Dorothy Roberts argues that America is once again at the brink of a virulent outbreak of classifying population by race. By searching for differences at the molecular level, a new race-based science is obscuring racism in our society and legitimizing state brutality against communities of color at a time when America claims to be post-racial.


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Innovation
Atlantic Century II_small.jpgThe Atlantic Century II: Benchmarking EU & U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness

Robert D. Atkinson and Scott M. Andes
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, 2011

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From the Abstract: The Atlantic Century II updates The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation's 2009 report on the United States’ innovation-based competitiveness compared with a diverse group of countries. Using 16 key indicators, such as scientists and engineers, corporate and government R&D, venture capital, productivity and trade performance, the 2011 report finds that America has made little or no progress since 1999. Of the 44 countries and regions surveyed, the United States still ranks fourth behind Singapore, Finland and Sweden. But this is down from the number one position in 2000. Of greater concern, however, is the fact that the US continues to rank at the bottom – second only to Italy – on progress in improving its innovation capacity and competitiveness over the last decade. But the updated report contains encouraging news for some individual states. Measured against the foreign countries and regions, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Delaware, Maryland, Colorado, and New Hampshire would all be ranked number one in innovation-based competitiveness if they were their own countries. The updated report adds six new countries – Argentina, Chile, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey – to the survey.
europe_2020_cover_web_small.jpgEurope 2020: Competitive or Complacent?

Daniel Hamilton
Brookings Institution Press, 2011


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From the Publisher: How well is Europe positioned to deal with the competitive and highly connected G20 world? Are Europeans primed to be world-class players? Or are they complacent, failing to meet their challenges while a world of opportunities passes them by? How does the European Union compare to other dynamic economies? Where are its links thick, where are they thin, and how are they changing? In this study, Daniel Hamilton offers a comprehensive, up-to-date look. He shows how the EU is connected to other continents, and what those ties mean for Europe’s competitiveness in a G20 world. He explains the EU’s global links in goods, services, money, energy, people, and ideas. He maps each of these flows and describes how they affect relations between the EU and other world regions. He assesses the EU’s strengths and weaknesses, and offers four scenarios for the EU’s future.
Technology Innovation Program_small.jpgThe Technology Innovation Program

Wendy H. Schacht
Congressional Research Service, 2011


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From the Summary: While similar to the Advanced Technology Program in the promotion of R&D that is expected to be of broad-based economic benefit to the nation, TIP appears to have been structured to avoid what was seen as government funding of large firms that opponents argued did not necessarily need federal support for research. The committee report to accompany H.R. 1868, part of which was incorporated into the final legislation, stated that TIP replaces ATP in consideration of a changing global innovation environment focusing on small- and medium-sized companies. The design of the program also “acknowledges the important role universities play in the innovation cycle by allowing universities to fully participate in the program.”
sizing_the_clean_economy_small.jpgSizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment

Mark Muro, Jonathan Rothwell and Devashre Saha
Brookings Institution, 2011


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From the Executive Summary: Debates about the so-called “green” economy and “green jobs” have frequently been short on facts and long on speculation, assertion, and partisanship. Which gets to the impetus of this report: Seeking to address some of these problems, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings worked with Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice to develop, analyze, and comment on a detailed database of establishment-level employment statistics pertaining to a sensibly defined assemblage of clean economy industries in the United States and its metropolitan areas.


Environment
Climate Engineering - GAO Report_small.jpgClimate Engineering: Technical Status, Future Directions, and Potential Responses

Government Accountability Office, 2011


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From the Summary: Reports of rising global temperatures have raised questions about responses to climate change, including efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, adapt to climate change, and design and develop climate engineering technologies for deliberate, large-scale interventions in Earth’s climate. In response to a congressional request for a technology assessment on climate engineering, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a new report in August. An interdisciplinary team prepared the report, employing a multi-method approach based on GAO’s quality assurance framework and best practices in technology assessment. The report examined the current state of climate engineering science and technology, experts’ views of the future of US climate engineering research, and potential public responses to climate engineering. The report also discusses key considerations for the use of climate engineering technologies and their policy implications.
Climate Change and Global Energy Security_small.jpgClimate Change and Global Energy Security: Technology and Policy Options

Marilyn A. Brown and Benjamin K. Sovacool
MIT Press, 2011


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From the Publisher: Tackling climate change and improving energy security are two of the twenty-first century's greatest challenges. In this book, Marilyn Brown and Benjamin Sovacool offer detailed assessments of the most advanced commercially available technologies for strengthening global energy security, mitigating the effects of climate change, and enhancing resilience through adaptation and geo-engineering. They also evaluate the barriers to the deployment of these technologies and critically review public policy options crucial to their adoption.
Sustainability and the US EPA_small.jpgSustainability and the U.S. EPA

Committee on Incorporating Sustainability in the US Environmental Protection Agency; National Research Council
National Academies Press, 2011


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From the Publisher: This framework, Sustainability and the U.S. EPA, provides recommendations for a sustainability approach that both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s. Although risk-based methods have led to many successes and remain important tools, the report concludes that they are not adequate to address many of the complex problems that put current and future generations at risk, such as depletion of natural resources, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. Moreover, sophisticated tools are increasingly available to address cross-cutting, complex, and challenging issues that go beyond risk management.
Climate Change - Conceptual Approaches and Policy Tools_small.jpgClimate Change: Conceptual Approaches and Policy Tools

Jane A. Leggett
Congressional Research Service, 2011


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From the Summary: Policy proposals take different approaches to setting goals or managing climate change-related risks. This report describes four strategies for setting climate change policies: (1) research and wait-and-see, (2) science-based goal setting, (3) economics-based policies, and (4) incrementalism or adaptive management. Each may take into account the concerns, values, and skepticisms of some constituencies, but each also has limitations. It is unclear whether any single conceptual approach could cover all elements of the policy debate, though hybrid approaches may help to build political consensus over whether and how much policy intervention is appropriate.
Climate Policy After Copenhagen_small.jpgClimate Policy After Copenhagen: The Role of Carbon Pricing

Karsten Neuhoff
Cambridge University Press, 2011


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From the Publisher: At the UN Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen, 117 heads of state concluded that low-carbon development is necessary in order to combat climate change. However, they also understood that transition to a low-carbon economy requires the implementation of a portfolio of policies and programs – a challenging endeavor for any nation. This book addresses the need for information about factors impacting climate policy implementation, using as a case study one effort that is at the heart of attempts to create a low-carbon future: the European Emission Trading Scheme. It explores problems surrounding the implementation of the ETS, including the role of vested interests, the impact of design details, and opportunities to attract long-term investments. It also shows how international climate cooperation can be designed to support the domestic implementation of low-carbon policies. This timely analysis of carbon pricing contains important lessons for all those concerned with the development of post-Copenhagen climate policy.

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