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Two Papers on American Innovation Jim Manzi's "The New American System" and Charles Murray's "America and the Culture of Innovation"

On March 12, 2014, Hudson’s Initiative on Future Innovation convened a distinguished panel of experts from government, business, and the academic world for an off-the-record workshop on working drafts of two illuminating new papers on the status and culture of American innovation: Jim Manzi’s “The New American System,” and Charles Murray’s “America and the Culture of Innovation,” each a broad, historically informed survey of the current status and economic, social, and institutional “infrastructure” of innovation in the United States—and each offering provocative, if preliminary, forecasts and prescriptions for the future.

Following Hudson’s workshop discussion, both papers were revised by their authors, and each has now been published: Manzi’s in the Spring 2014 issue of National Affairs, and available online here and Murray’s—under the title “Does America Still Have What It Takes?”—as the April 2014 “Monthly Essay” in Mosaic Magazine, and available online here.

Two of Hudson’s March 12 guest discussants have also since published web postings about the session. Economist Arnold Kling, who admits that he attends “these sorts of things” on a frequent basis but only rarely “hears a stimulating idea,” reports that Hudson’s workshop “was one of the winners”—and he lists not just one but eleven separate stimulating ideas that came up during the conversation in a blog entry here. Dr. Jeffrey Salmon, Deputy Director for Resource Management at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Technical Information (OSTI), describes Hudson’s March 12 workshop as “rich and multi-layered” exchange of views providing “much food for thought” and a range of “key ideas and arguments of particular interest” to government policymakers in an extensive OSTI blog posting here.

Jim Manzi is a guest scholar in the Economic Studies program and founder of the Project for Experimental Innovation in Policy at the Brookings Institution. As founder and chairman of Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), the world’s largest purely cloud-based predictive analytics software company; a veteran of AT&T Laboratories; the holder of multiple patents; and the author of Uncontrolled (2012), a widely discussed book on the importance of rapid, iterative experimentation in business and the public sector, Jim Manzi is one of the nation’s most respected voices on policy questions related to technological innovation and economic growth.

Political scientist and author Charles Murray is currently W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He first came to national attention in 1984 with the publication of Losing Ground, which proved to be a major theoretical influence on what became the federal Welfare Reform Act of 1996. His 1994 New York Times bestseller The Bell Curve, coauthored with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, sparked heated controversy for its analysis of the role of IQ in shaping America’s class structure. Murray’s other books include What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment, In Our Hands, and Real Education. His most volume, Coming Apart (2012), describes an unprecedented class divergence in the United States over the past half century.

Jim Manzi Author and Presenter

Guest Scholar, Brookings Institution

Charles Murray Author and Presenter

W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Christopher DeMuth Moderator

Hudson Distinguished Fellow and Director, Initiative on Future Innovation

Dan Arvizu Discussant

Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Chairman, National Science Board

Robert Atkinson Discussant

President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Claude Barfield Discussant

Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Kimberly Dennis Discussant

President, Searle Freedom Trust

Carrie Filipetti Discussant

The Paul E. Singer Foundation

Harold Furchgott-Roth Discussant

Hudson Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Economics of the Internet

Ted Gayer Discussant

Director of Economic Studies, Brookings Institution

Peter Huber Discussant

Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Leon Kass Discussant

Madden-Jewett Chair, American Enterprise Institute

Arnold Kling Discussant


Ira Kuhn Discussant

Managing Member, Kuhn Technologies

Hanns Kuttner Discussant

Hudson Senior Fellow

Yuval Levin Discussant

Hertog Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Lewis Libby Discussant

Hudson Senior Vice President

Robert Litan Discussant

Director of Research, Bloomberg Government

Michael Mandel Discussant

Chief Economic Strategist, Progressive Policy Institute

Jerry Muller Discussant

Professor of History, The Catholic University of America

Robert Poole Discussant

Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow, Reason Foundation

Jonathan Rauch Discussant

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Reihan Salam Discussant

Policy Fellow, National Review Institute

Jeffrey Salmon Discussant

Deputy Director, Resource Management, Office of Science, Department of Energy

Joel Scanlon Discussant

Director of Studies, Hudson Institute

Nick Shultz Discussant

Integrated Advocacy Manager, ExxonMobil

Sarah Stern Discussant

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Hudson Institute

Bret Swanson Discussant

President, Entropy Economics

David Tell Discussant

Hudson Senior Fellow

Edward Tenner Discussant

Senior Research Associate, Smithsonian

Peter Thiel Discussant

Technology entrepreneur and investor; Partner, Founders Fund; Co-Founder, Mithril Capital Management

John Walters Discussant

Chief Operating Officer, Hudson Institute

John Weicher Discussant

Hudson Senior Fellow

Kenneth R. Weinstein Discussant

President and CEO, Hudson Institute

Margaret Whitehead Discussant

Trustee, Hudson Institute

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