[EconTalk] Patrick Collison on Innovation and Scientific Progress

Patrick Collison on Innovation and Scientific Progress

28/01/2019 by EconTalk: Russ Roberts

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=62616800
Episode: http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2019/Collisoninnovation.mp3

Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the pace of innovation. Collison argues that despite enormous increases in the numbers of scientists and researchers, the pace of progress in scientific and technological understanding does not seem to be increasing accordingly. The conversation looks at the challenge of measuring innovation and whether the pace of innovation should be a matter of concern and if so, what might be done about it.

Listen Date: 2019-03-20

Notes:

  • I couldn’t really get into this episode, though it is an interesting and important topic. Maybe unbolding anxiety is overriding actual listening right now.
  • The one thing which I did pay attention to and raise my eye skeptically about – the point Collison made about “Biographies of scientists from times gone by show them to be much more freewheeling!” Well, maybe that is because narratives about freewheeling scientists are more likely to propagate than narratives about methodical ones; and reflects not on the nature of scientists, but on the nature of which biographies get written or read.
  • But in general, I was sympathetic to Collison’s plea for different and parallel ways of science funding. It reminded me of Tim Harford’s Adapt.

 

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