February 16, 2019


David Hart, SPPWelcome to my personal home page. I’m a professor and director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy at George Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government.   I have two overlapping areas of specialization. One is technology, science, and innovation policy. I’m interested in the sources and implications of discoveries and inventions of all sorts, past and present. The other area is governance, at the regional, national, and global levels. I want to understand the processes by which policy-makers decide what to do. The two areas come together as I seek to comprehend how states, markets, individuals, and social groups interact to produce decisions about important new technological capabilities.

On this site, you’ll find information about my teaching, publications, research interests, and service activities.  You can find my full c.v. here and my short bio here.  I welcome contacts from scholars, students, and policy practitioners.  You can follow me on Twitter @ProfDavidHart.

What’s New:

My paper with Varun Sivaram and John Dabiri on technological lock-in in clean energy was published in Joule.

My paper on the Obama administration’s technology demonstration projects was published in Energy Policy.

I interviewed Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson on the main stage of the 2018 ARPA-E Summit on March 13, 2018 at National Harbor.

I’m on leave for the 2018-2019 academic year and focusing on my work as a senior fellow with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) on clean energy innovation.  Recent work with ITIF includes:

Making “Beyond Lithium” a Reality: Fostering Innovation in Long-Duration Grid Storage,” was released on November 28, 2018, and was discussed by a panel including Judi Greenwald of Princeton and Bob Perciasepe of C2ES.

When Does Environmental Regulation Stimulate Technological Innovation?” A review of the expert literature for policy-makers supported by NSF’s SciSIP program, July 23, 2018, which I also discussed on a panel on regulation and innovation with former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas in February 2018.  I wrote two op-eds on this theme as well, one in Morning Consult on August 3, 2018, and the other in the Detroit Free Press on August 10, 2018.

New Ideas for Strengthening Partnerships at DOE National Labs” event on Capitol Hill, June 27, 2018, featuring Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL),  Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM).  I also shared these ideas with the National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, and in two op-eds (with Stephen Ezell), “Accelerating Energy Innovation with DOE Lab Vouchers for Business” in Crains Cleveland Business on July 1, 2018, and “A Department of Energy Foundation:  An Idea Whose Time Has Come,”  in The Hill on December 19, 2017.

Manufacturing USA at DOE: Supporting Energy Innovation” (with Peter L. Singer), May 16, 2018. ITIF hosted a release event as well.

Energy Storage for the Grid:  Policy Options for Sustaining Innovation” MIT Energy Initiative working paper (with William B. Bonvillian and Nathaniel Austin), April 26, 2018.  ITIF hosted a release event, which is available for viewing on-line. I also spoke about this work at the AAAS S&T Policy Forum  on June 21, 2018; and I co-authored a paper with Varun Sivaram (CFR) and John Dabiri (Stanford) in Joule  on “The Continuing Need for Innovation in Solar, Wind, and Storage.”

Federal Energy RD&D:  Building on Momentum in Fiscal 2019” (with Colin Cunliff), April 23, 2018. Colin and I also published an op-ed on this work in Utility Dive.

“ARPA-E:  Versatile Catalyst for U.S. Energy Innovation,” report (with Michael Kearney) and release event at ITIF on November 15, 2017, and associated op-ed in Energy Collective on December 20, 2017. See also “The Little Agency that Does:  Why the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Must Be Funded, Not Eliminated,” Washington Times (June 18, 2017);

From NIMBY to PIMBY on Wind Farms,Lincoln (NE) Journal Star, October 25, 2017; “How States and Localities Can Limit the Fallout from Trump’s Withdrawal from Paris,” Brookings Institution’s The Avenue (June 2, 2017); “We Can Cut Carbon Emissions, Trump or No Trump,” Richmond Times Dispatch (May 26, 2017); “It’s Time for America’s Own Paris Agreement” Austin American-Statesman (March 1, 2017).  I was on a panel comparing state and provincial responses to climate change at the Confederation of Tomorrow 2.0 conference hosted by the Mowat Centre of the University of Toronto on December 12, 2017.

Bad Blueprint:  Why Trump Should Ignore the Heritage Plan to Gut Federal Investment” (with Stephen Ezell and Robert D. Atkinson, February 27, 2017); “Go Native, Mr. Secretary” The Hill (March 2, 2017), “Alternative Energy Is Now Mainstream” Washington Examiner (April 24, 2017); “Congress Should Come Up with a Real Budget for Clean Energy Innovation,” The Hill (July 28, 2017).

Energy Innovation Policy:  Priorities for the Trump Administration and Congress” (December 13, 2016); release event with Varun Sivaram, Dorothy Robyn, Todd Allen, Jeff Marqusee; Morning Consult op-ed “Focus, Reform, Invest“(December 16, 2016); Europe’s World op-ed “Trade War or Innovation Race” (December 15, 2016); New York Times editorial board endorses priorities; “Energy Dominance Is Un-American,” Morning Consult (July 6, 2017).

Rescuing the Low-Carbon Energy Transition from Magical Thinking” (October 27, 2016); release event on Mission Innovation; Morning Consult op-ed “Clean Energy Innovation:  A Way to Crack America’s Frozen Climate ; Sea Change Radio interview (November 8, 2016); Presentation at Texas Environmental Law Journal seminar (March 24, 2017)

I serve as co-chair of the Innovation Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Forum acts as a focal point for a national and international dialogue on innovation policy. I hosted a symposium on the role of Manufacturing USA for the Forum on May 23, 2017, which has now been published as a workshop report.

I collaborated with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program on their advanced industries project, including a trend report on August 4, 2016, and commentary in Industry Week on August 15, 2016.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published my op-ed on candidate Donald Trump’s manufacturing policy proposals on July 14, 2016.

I served as co-chair of the program committee for the Industry Studies Conference from 2016 to 2018. 2018.

“Closing the Energy-Demonstration Gap” (with Richard K. Lester) was published in Issues in Science and Technology (Winter 2015).  Unlocking Energy Innovation: How America Can Build a Low-Cost, Low-Carbon Energy System (with Richard K. Lester, published by MIT Press) is now out in paperback.

In October 2014, I participated in the second U.S.-China science and technology policy dialogue in Beijing and in the Pujiang Innovation Forum in Shanghai.  The main topic of my talks was my reflections on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (which were published in Science and Public Policy).

In August 2012, I completed a year of service to the nation as assistant director for innovation policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  My work for the Administration focused on advanced manufacturing policy, including the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (now Manufacturing USA)  and the Additive Manufacturing Pilot (now America Makes), based in Youngstown OH.   Bipartisan legislation that permanently authorized Manufacturing USA was passed in December 2014.