U.S. Edge on Ideas
China and India will always train more scientists and engineers. But at least America's still got the best environment for ideas to grow.
Obama suggested increasing U.S. investment in R&D, a good and welcome step. But what will really determine U.S. competitiveness in the global ideas market isn't the money we can pour into the system. It's the strength of the system itself — the social, political, and cultural institutions that shape ideas from start to finish. As long as the U.S. maintains its comparative advantage — an open and flexible culture and a web of institutions, attitudes, and relationships that move ideas from the lab to the marketplace — there's no reason why the future isn't in its grasp.
Jonathan Zimmerman explains why teachers should invite, not censor, tough classroom debates.
- During times of war or national crisis in the U.S., school boards and officials are much more wary about allowing teachers and kids to say what they think.
- If our teachers avoid controversial questions in the classroom, kids won't get the experience they need to know how to engage with difficult questions and with criticism.
- Jonathan Zimmerman argues that controversial issues should be taught in schools as they naturally arise. Otherwise kids will learn from TV news what politics looks like – which is more often a rant than a healthy debate.
Controversial map names CEOs of 100 companies producing 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
- Just 100 companies produce 71 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.
- This map lists their names and locations, and their CEOs.
- The climate crisis may be too complex for these 100 people to solve, but naming and shaming them is a good start.
It marks another milestone in SpaceX's long-standing effort to make spaceflight cheaper.
- SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy into space early Tuesday morning.
- A part of its nosecone – known as a fairing – descended back to Earth using special parachutes.
- A net-outfitted boat in the Atlantic Ocean successfully caught the reusable fairing, likely saving the company millions of dollars.
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