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so pushing all science forward and rewarding the best thinkers is the right approach. History shows how these things play out — the replacement for oil, or the chemical that harnesses the power of the sun will likely come from a basic discovery in another field, not from applied research.
5. Provide Metrics for Regulatory Reform: Too often Congress (on both sides of the aisle) tends to get mired in the specifics of policy and loses sight of national goals. Nothing kills innovation and investment faster than regulatory uncertainty. For example, if we want to solve climate change, our government can’t ban solar power and wind farms from government owned land, as it is doing. And lower-cost personalized medicine, focused on prevention, is a fantasy if the FDA makes it cost $2 billion to approve each drug.
6. Appoint a Chief Technology Officer: As a technology evangelist, the CTO’s mission should be to track our goals and to look for regulatory errors and bureaucracy which slows things down, without slipping into “industrial policy” of picking “winning” industries.
7. Try a Tiny Step on Education of International Students: Currently we are severely undermining our own competitiveness by forcing the best and brightest in the world away from America. If these gifted people continue to go elsewhere, we lose. Let proven foreign graduate students in science hold a green card when they graduate as part of the Education bill (not an Immigration bill). We get to benefit from their expertise after investing our college resources in them. From the Manhattan Project to Apollo, we would have failed without international minds.
8. Attempt an Easy Foreign Policy Win: Energy is where we have a common interest with China. Chinese and American energy independence benefits the United States and reduces competition for oil. Our governments could work together in clean and green technology innovation for a healthier, more stable world.
9. Nurture Creative Education: Our basic education system needs fixing, but it already creates the most creative students in the world. Let’s reform it by rewarding performance and creativity and resist any movement urging “back to basics” standardization that only moves us backward.
10. Restore Global Confidence in America: Every American who has traveled in the last half decade knows the confidence and trust is lost. Let innovation become our olive branch to restore the world’s respect. We will lead the world by offering solutions to the major problems of our day — energy, terrorism, and disease.
Let’s keep on the trail of innovation. Let’s use our strengths to seize the moment and create unprecedented change. At the end of that trail is an economically re-charged America that is cleaner, healthier, and stronger.
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