Tuesday, May 20, 2008

VU Board of Trust member scolds nation's leaders

Adamant in his concern about flagging U.S. innovation, Vanderbilt University Board of Trust Member (emeritus) Lewis Branscomb (at right) took both Republican and Democrat policymakers to the woodshed in his remarks May 8 before the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As reported by the AAAS, Branscomb said, "We must have new leadership in the Executive branch which recognizes that a broad range of government policies directly affect the nation's power to innovate... Also needed are policies for transitional technology investments, economic policy, trade strategy, government procurement, standards policy, robust hard and soft infrastructure, and a culture in American society that embraces creativity... We need more than basic science. We need public policies that support useful research and means for converting research to economically sustainable innovations that can grow into profitable and sustainable larger enterprises." Branscomb is a son of the late Harvie Branscomb, long-time Vanderbilt University chancellor, who died in 1998. He is professor emeritus of Public Policy and Corporate Management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and adjunct professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California-San Diego. He also has served in top positions at IBM, including vice president and chief scientist, and as chairman of the U.S. National Science Board from 1980-1984.

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