An expert on the history of technological leaps says a vital step is for scientists and engineers to build networks outside of their fields.
This a nice interview that explains how the current methods of providing grants for academic researchers help to isolate scientists from social networks that may be critical for moving research out into society.
The ability to innovate requires social networks but there are few connections between the networks of academic scientists and the people who are needed to transfer technology to wider communities. Finding mechanisms to overcome this bottleneck can have huge effects on the rates that innovations traverse different communities.
As more and more scientific endeavors require collaboration between multidisciplinary groups the insular nature of research will begin to be breeched. But, the bottlenecks and consricted connections to outside networks will also have to be changed, if we are to truly solve the difficult problems facing us.
Technorati Tags: Science