Research, particularly on the "discovery" end of the R&O spectrum, is complex and easily misunderstood. Scientific advance doesn't always precede, it often follows, engineering advance. Answering questions isn't always the goal, finding questions often is. We don't always seek to strengthen conventional wisdom, sometimes we seek to surprise it. What if we could rethink research so that its nurturing, through policy and management, harmonizes with its nature?
Venkatesh Narayanamurti is Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Physics Emeritus at Harvard University. He was formerly Dean of the UCSB College of Engineering (1992-1998). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected member of the U.S National Academy of Engineering, of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and of the World Academy of Sciences.