Welcome to my personal home page. I’m a professor and director of the Center for Science and Technology 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.
As a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution‘s Metropolitan Policy Program, I have been working on the program’s advanced industries project. We released an advanced industries trend report on August 4, 2016, and Industry Week published my commentary on August 15, 2016.
I’ll be a senior fellow with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, focusing on clean energy innovation, during the 2016-2017 academic year.
I have joined the Innovation Policy Forum of the National Academy of Sciences as co-chair. The Forum acts as a focal point for a national and international dialogue on innovation policy.
I am serving on the organizing committee for the Industry Studies Conference, which will be held in Washington, DC in May 2017.
I gave a seminar on “Science and Technology Policy in the 2016 U.S. Elections” at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research in June 2016.
In December 2015 in conjunction with colleagues from SRI International, I hosted an agenda-setting workshop on behalf of NSF’s Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) program on the theme “Making SciSIP Research More Useful to Policy-Makers.” We briefed an interagency group on the report at the Executive Office of the President in June 2016.
“Closing the Energy-Demonstration Gap” (with Richard K. Lester) was published in Issues in Science and Technology (Winter 2015). I hosted two panels on energy innovation in February, 2016 – first at the Bipartisan Policy Center on February 3 and then at the AAAS Annual Meeting on February 12. 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.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, where I serve on the board, released a report on the demographics of American innovation that I co-authored on Capitol Hill on February 24, 2016. I’m quoted in a piece by David Malakoff of Science as well.
I served as senior associate dean of the School of Public Policy in 2013-2014 and the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs in 2014-2015. In July 2015, I returned to the faculty.
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 (NNMI) and the Additive Manufacturing Pilot (now America Makes), based in Youngstown OH. Bipartisan legislation that permanently authorized NNMI was passed in December 2014.