Welcome to
Tapping the Riches of Science

book cover

Welcome to tappingtherichesofscience.info—a website devoted to issues related to the role of universities in economic development. Here you can learn about our book, Tapping the Riches of Science: Universities and the Promise of Economic Growth. You can also check out papers we wrote, singly or jointly, before, during and after writing Tapping (see Resources). Roger and Creso have been working at Penn State on different aspects of this subject since 2003, and Creso since 2006 at the University of Toronto. You can find out more about us at About the Authors.

This website was established as an outlet to share our continuing investigations into the connections between universities, and particularly university research, and the stimulation of growth and innovation in the economy. Tapping explores several key parts of this territory. It probes the principal pathways between inventions in universities and innovation in industry; describes public policies, particularly at the state level, that have provided resources to universities specifically for this purpose; details the complexities and contradictions created by university efforts to own and sell intellectual property; and examines the consequences these developments have had for the ways universities are organized and operate (see table of contents). This work synthesized and analyzed the findings from our own research and those of other scholars who have investigated aspects of this subject. This webpage makes no pretense of covering this expanding universe of scholarship. Rather, it presents our own contributions, writings that are related to, stem from, or contributed to Tapping.

University relations with industry were long regarded with suspicion. However, public opinion today is dominated by a concern for the national importance of innovation. University research is believed to play a crucial role in driving innovation in industry, which is essential to maintaining the competitiveness of the United States in the global economy. This narrative has become part of the zeitgeist of the twenty-first century; such language, for example, can be found in the 2008 party platforms of the Republican and Democratic Parties. But conventional wisdom always deserves critical scrutiny. Tapping the Riches of Science was written to examine and analyze the aspects of these beliefs that have most deeply affected American universities. We hope that Tapping and the papers presented on this website will extend and amplify public understanding of these issues.