As members of Congress felt the first effects of the sequester on tarmacs at Dulles and Reagan months ago, they moved quickly to end the FAA furloughs. However, they neglected to act upon the far more serious threat facing the country under sequestration. That threat is an impending R&D collapse.
Many of the nation's leading scientists and engineers are working to create deadlier missiles, submarines and more lethal drones. How could those talents and budgets be used to serve the betterment of the people?
There are few aspects of life more thoroughly dominated by government than education. This is particularly true of educational innovation. Innovative programs and materials do often come from the private sector, but they are adopted only if government supports them.
In America, the term "innovation" is often exclusively attributed to the profitable successes of private businesses -- specifically big corporations like Apple, Google and Microsoft. But history has shown quite the opposite to be true.
There are now only 12 days left for Congress to reach an agreement to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," yet Republicans are still insisting on a plan that will harm our economy and risks our ability to compete in the 21st century.
R&D folks need the freedom to play, to innovate, to grow the next big product. This cannot and will never happen if an R&D engineer is spending eight hours a day, five days a week, filling out forms and reports instead of developing products.
Is India ready to play a leading role in health R&D? Are Indian companies interested in new products for the poor, or are they focused on more lucrative opportunities serving patients who can pay more for medicines?
If the world acts with strategy and speed to implement the proven and emerging options, the epidemic should be on a measurable downward trajectory over the next five to ten years. Why, then, do we still need an AIDS vaccine? Because we want to end the epidemic.
We might not be able to match the incentives offered by our trading partners dollar-for-dollar, but we can make the choice competitive enough that we can leverage the inherent advantages that our country still offers.