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Issues in Science and Technology

Writing for Issues in Science and Technology, President L. Rafael Reif examines Vannevar Bush’s groundbreaking 1945 Science, the Endless Frontier report and considers how our needs today have changed. “To meet this moment, we need to ensure that our federally sponsored research addresses questions that will enhance our competitiveness now and in the future,” writes Reif. “Our current system has many strengths…but we must not allow these historical advantages to blind us to gaps that could become fatal weaknesses.”

The Boston Globe

Institute Professor Suzanne Berger speaks with Boston Globe reporter Jonathan Schlefer about how to ensure the new Senate bill that invests in research and development helps strength small and medium-sized companies. “The focus can’t just be on large firms at the top of the manufacturing chain because their ability to produce a range of advanced goods depends on their base of suppliers,” says Berger. “And today those suppliers lack the technology and skills to make the parts that would allow the top of the chain to take off.”

Marketplace

President L. Rafael Reif speaks with Sabri Ben-Achour of Marketplace about the importance of the Senate passing a new bill that invests in research and development. “We are in a science and technology race for the future,” says Reif. “It is with science and technology that we address things like Covid and the biggest challenges the world has; the health of our economy, our security. That is key to all of the above.”

New York Times

Prof. Jonathan Gruber speaks with New York Times reporter David Leonhardt about the importance of the U.S. Senate passing a new bill that will increase funding for research and development, and establish a program aimed at making American innovation more geographically diverse. “We are too big a nation to have all of our innovation concentrated on the coasts,” Gruber said.

Times Higher Ed

Times Higher Education reporter Simon Baker writes that Media Lab researchers have developed a new machine learning model that can predict research studies that will have the highest impact. The tool has the potential to “aid funders and research evaluators in making better decisions and avoiding the kind of biases and gaming that occurred with simpler metric assessments.”

Inside Higher Ed

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, graduate student Austin DeMarco, federal affairs chair of the MIT Graduate Student Council, advocates for increased federal investment in scientific research. “Sustained, ambitious investment in innovation and research, beginning with the Endless Frontier Act, will rebuild America’s technological ecosystem, strengthen and diversify our scientific workforce, and regain our world leadership in science and technology,” DeMarco writes.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Andy Rosen writes that the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has launched “a new, $300 million initiative that applies advanced computer science to some of the hardest problems in medicine — an endeavor it said could uncover new ways to fight cancer, infectious disease, and other illnesses.

Forbes

Katie Rae, CEO and managing partner of The Engine, speaks with Forbes reporter David Jeans about the second round of funding raised by The Engine and how the venture is looking to help support tough tech ideas. “These are things with often longer [investment] timeframes,” Rae says. “They’ve almost always been backed by government-led research, and now they are ready to translate into companies.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch reporter Danny Crichton writes that The Engine has announced a second round of funding aimed at supporting tough tech startups. Crichton notes that, “with this latest news from The Engine, it seems clear that Boston’s tough tech ecosystem will continue to have a pipeline of interesting and compelling companies.”

The Wall Street Journal

Researchers from MIT's Laboratory for Nuclear Science will lead a new research institute focused on advancing knowledge of physics and AI, reports Jared Council for The Wall Street Journal. The new research institute is part of an effort “designed to ensure the U.S. remains globally competitive in AI and quantum technologies.”

Clear + Vivid with Alan Alda

President L. Rafael Reif joins Alan Alda on his podcast “Clear + Vivid” to discuss the need for increased American investment in fundamental research and development.

Boston.com

President Emerita Susan Hockfield discusses her new book, “The Age of Living Machines,” her work as a neuroscientist, and the future of science and technology during a curated lunch conversation with HUBweek and Boston.com. Hockfield explains that a revolution spurred by the convergence of biology with engineering will lead to new technologies built by biology.

TechCrunch

MIT and the U.S. Air Force “are teaming up to launch a new accelerator focused on artificial intelligence applications,” writes Danny Crichton for TechCrunch. The goal is that projects developed in the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator would be “addressing challenges that are important to both the Air Force and society more broadly.”

Technology Review

Will Knight writes for MIT Technology Review about the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator, which “will focus on uses of AI for the public good, meaning applications relevant to the humanitarian work done by the Air Force.” “These are extraordinarily important problems,” says Prof. Daniela Rus. “All of these applications have a great deal of uncertainty and complexity.”

Boston Globe

The new MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator “will look at improving Air Force operations and addressing larger societal needs, such as responses to disasters and medical readiness,” reports Breanne Kovatch for The Boston Globe. “The AI Accelerator provides us with an opportunity to develop technologies that will be vectors for positive change in the world,” says Prof. Daniela Rus.