SPP Speaker Series - Venkatesh Narayanamurti

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday April 21, 2016
      3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Location: Stephen C. Hall Building, Room 102
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Summary Sentence: Cycles of Invention and Discovery: Rethinking the Endless Frontier

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  • Venkatesh Narayanamurti Venkatesh Narayanamurti

Cycles of Invention and Discovery: Rethinking the Endless Frontier

The School of Public Policy welcomes Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at Harvard University. 

In this talk I will reflect on the genesis of the Information and Communications revolution and through an analysis of the hard case of Nobel Prizes in Physics to show that the causal direction of scientific discovery and radical invention  are often reversed. They often arose in a culture of so called “applications oriented research” in industrial laboratories and will use those examples to enumerate the key ingredients of highly successful R&D institutions. My views have been shaped by my own personal experiences in industrial research, U.S National Laboratories and research intensive universities. By exploring the daily micro-practices of research, I will show how distinctions between the search for knowledge and creative-problem solving break down when one pays attention to how path breaking research actually happens.  I will highlight the importance of designing institutions which transcend the ‘basic-applied’ dichotomy and contrasting them with models of the classic but still influential report Science, The Endless Frontier. The need for new integrative institutions to address global challenges such as climate change and alternative energy sources will be discussed.

Venkatesh Narayanamurti is the Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at Harvard. He was formerly the John L. Armstrong Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Professor of Physics and Dean of Physical Sciences at Harvard. From 2009 to 2015 he served as the Director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the author of more than 230 scientific papers in different areas of condensed matter and applied physics. He lectures widely on solid state, computer, and communication, and energy technologies, and on the management of science, technology and public policy. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an elected member of the U.S National Academy of Engineering(NAE) and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.He served as Foreign Secretary of NAE from 2011 to 2015.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of Public Policy

Invited Audience
Undergraduate students, Faculty/Staff, Public, Graduate students
  • Created By: Jennifer Teeter
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  • Created On: Feb 26, 2016 - 9:53am
  • Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 - 5:16pm