Nation of Beancounters

“what is the lag between discovery and widespread usefulness?”

Posted in Innovation by Navin Kumar on April 4, 2012

…what is the lag between discovery and widespread usefulness? At the bloggers’ conference last week, Michael Mandel said that the results in medicine of the discoveries of the past twenty years have been disappointing. But 20 years after the invention of the transistor, about all we had to show for it was cheap Japanese radios. It took another 20 years for personal computers to be useful (that was not until the late 1980s, in my view), and 15 years after that for the Internet to hit its stride. By those standards, are stem cells and genetic engineering such laggards in terms of achieving their potential?

Arnold Kling

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