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Old April 12 2014, 02:06 AM   #34
Location: Kentucky
Re: Interesting interview on the state of science

Well, this weekend I'm slated to do some experiments on artificial muscles, round up materials to make a new type of spacesuit joint that doesn't require constant applied torque to remain flexed, and then some random engineering things like stripping electronics out of a wire-EDM machine.

I was going to have to continue the underground search for 8,200 gallons of gasoline that spilled into a cave system, but that got put on hold till next weekend at the earliest.

Meanwhile, I'm sure folks at Apple, Google, Siemens, GE, Microsoft, HP, BASF, Boeing, and 3M will have to be shooed out of their labs this weekend so the cleaning crews can empty the trash and sweep the floors. Passion has a high correlation to successful innovations, and making people go through a laborious and often humiliating grant process can kind of kill that feeling, which is one reason why the most innovative companies don't rely on it for research.

There was a recent NSF sponsored Berkley study covering twenty years of research and patents in the California university system that found that federally funded research was much less likely to result in patents across all technical fields, and those patents were half as likely to be cited by other patents (a measure of patent quality and broadness). Additionally, the corporate-sponsored research patents were less likely than federally sponsored patents to be tied up in exclusive licensing agreements that limit their widespread use. Admitting that must've been like root canal.

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