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Promoting and Governing Technological Advances

Cluster leads: Lainie Rutkow, Greg Hager, Thomas Rid and Valerie Suslow

The Promoting and Governing Technological Advances cluster will carry out an ambitious research agenda in two key areas that interact with each other in manifold ways not yet fully explored: 1) how governments can work with markets, academia, and non-profit organizations to foster and catalyze technological advances through appropriate policy – especially in domains that promise vast benefits for society; and 2) when and how governments should act to monitor and govern technological advances, particularly in areas that pose potential risk to society.

Within both areas, the cluster’s faculty will study policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation in domestic and international contexts, informed by leading experts in important sectors of technology innovation. In addition to conducting original and pathbreaking research at the cutting edge of their fields, faculty will translate and disseminate their scholarship via active engagement with governments, the private sector, non-profit organizations, and academia.

This cluster will be recruiting 5 Bloomberg Distinguished Professors to develop this unique program of research, in collaboration with existing Johns Hopkins faculty.

Interested in this cluster? Contact us to learn more.

More Information

Research Goals / Scholar Background

Technological innovation has become a major driver of societal change, with broad implications in domestic and global contexts. Emerging technologies enable previously unimaginable practices. Governments, academia, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations have emerged as distinct stakeholders in the promotion and governance of technological advances. The pursuit of sound technology policy – which both sparks and governs innovation – is critical as countries seek to foster economic prosperity, national security, and population-level health. However, a robust evidence base is lacking to inform the formulation and implementation of technology policy on a global stage, with key questions remaining unanswered.

The following overarching framework will guide the cluster’s research agenda:

  • Promoting technological innovation. How can governments work with markets, academia, and non-profit organizations to foster and catalyze technological advances across sectors?
  • Assessing the risk of emerging technologies. How can governments collaborate with nongovernmental stakeholders to understand, assess, and manage the risk posed by a range of emerging technologies?
  • Developing new models for governance of technology. How can governments anticipate technological innovation and develop durable, flexible frameworks that facilitate advances and mitigate regulatory vacuums?

A cross-disciplinary, methodologically diverse approach is required to strengthen 21st-century technology policy, maximize its vast potential for societal advancement, and minimize wide-ranging risks, some of which pose existential threats. The proposed cluster will take a holistic view, encompassing both policy drivers that promote technological advances as well as governance frameworks that span sectors and nations.

Technology policy is inherently an interdisciplinary field, with stakeholders who span the public and private sectors. Scholarship in this area requires a sophisticated understanding of how economic, legal, ethical, and governance considerations intertwine as well as a grounding in the technological advances under consideration.

This cluster will recruit faculty with a shared and complementary research agenda focused on technology policy, with a specific focus on policy drivers of technological advances and governance approaches. Cluster scholars will have a history of successful cross-disciplinary work and routine interactions with policymakers, and will have expertise in economics, public policy, and the social sciences.

The university’s new Washington, DC-based home, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, offers a unique, highly visible venue to ground this cluster’s work: an unparalleled location for those seeking to influence and engage with technology policy. A cluster of technology policy scholars housed at 555 Penn will be a locus for gatherings of technical experts – from within and outside of academia – alongside policy experts and other key stakeholders in the heart of the nation’s capital. This prime location will support scholars who value engagement with government and provide a platform to convene a range of stakeholders engaged in technology policy.

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    Vice Provost for Research

    265 Garland Hall
    3400 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, MD 21218

    (443) 927-1957

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