Zachary Taylor, associate professor in the School of Public Policy presented a keynote on the politics of innovation at an Innovation Growth Lab event at Harvard on June 13 in Boston.
His presentation titled “The Politics of Innovation: Why Some Countries Are Better than Others at Science and Technology” was based on his book published by the Oxford University Press in June 2016. The book examines how nations become science and technology leaders. Taylor concludes that social networks and not domestic institutions and policies determine innovation rates.
The conference participants included leading policymakers, practitioners, and researchers in innovation, entrepreneurship, and growth policy. It was organized by Nesta’s Innovation Growth Lab (IGL), the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), the Kauffman Foundation, and the World Bank Group.
Taylor also presented his research based on his book at an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation on June 21, in Washington, D.C. According to Taylor, countries innovate in response to competition or security threats. For example, the United States dramatically accelerated its technology research after the Soviet satellite Sputnik was launched into orbit. Taylor concluded that countries will become more innovative when governments actively connects stakeholders and provides them with networking resources.