Vannevar Bush’s seminal report “Science, The Endless Frontier,” was a blueprint for U.S. scientific research in the post–World War II era that heralded government support for innovation. In this symposium, Robbert Dijkgraaf will join the panel “From Basic Research to Innovation and Economic Growth, and the Next 75 Years,” to examine the prescient report and consider how science can continue to spark discoveries that benefit the entire world. Talks will be streamed on February 26 from Washington, D.C.
A political economy is made, not born. The United States adopted one political economy at the outset of the New Deal, and then replaced it with another—which seems increasingly unpopular domestically and globally—during the last quarter of the twentieth century. How did this happen, and what have been the effects? Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, will explore these questions.
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This public event will feature two short talks about the transformational possibilities and provocative challenges that emerge from dialogue between the social sciences and AI. The talks will be followed by a conversation with the speakers and a Q&A with the audience.
At the Institute, while each School certainly has its own character and researchers’ work is highly specialized, there is nonetheless a sense of common purpose and shared environment. We inhabit the same space—the same woods—and not just in the literal sense. We share the experience of bewilderment, and the perpetual yearning for clarity.
"It's kind of like physics in its formative stages—Newton asking what makes the apple fall down," says Sanjeev Arora. "Thousands of years went by before science realized it was even a question worth asking. An analogous question in machine learning is 'What makes a bunch of pixels a picture of a pedestrian?' Machines are approaching human capabilities in such tasks, but we lack basic mathematical understanding of how and why they work."
The techniques developed over many years by topologists—generalized cohomology theories, the Adams spectral sequence, and much more—are now brought to bear on specific computations of interest in physics.
In 1930, the Institute was created as an academic retreat for the pursuit of daring research, unfettered by material constraints. From the beginning, political turmoil around the world interfered with this dream. This exhibit traces key moments in this history, focusing on questions of displacement and academic freedom in Europe, the United States, and Latin America from the 1930s to the 1970s.
My friend Specker, who could not speak English too well, he told him, “Well, we liked your reading, but I think you spoke down to the audience a bit, didn’t you?” and Dylan Thomas let loose swear words of an order that we didn’t use, that were no-nos.
After decades of retreat from the mainstream, economic history is making its way back to college curricula and scholarly publications. Today as always, present concerns stimulate academics’ choice of subject matter and approaches to historical inquiry.