On July 8, the House Committee on the Budget held a hearing focused on the federal role in research and development (R&D) in fueling American innovation and recovery in light of the effort to combat the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee heard testimony from several experts on the research and development enterprise including CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Sudip Parikh, Professor at New York University Paul Romer, President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness Deborah Wince-Smith, and Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School Willy Shih.
The Committee questioned the witnesses on a variety of topics including the ideal level of federal R&D spending as a percentage of GDP, research on mobilizing the manufacturing sector, the development of graduate students in research careers, the merits of the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (see COSSA’s previous coverage for more details) in assisting the U.S. research enterprise, and the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) order regarding international students at U.S. universities. AAAS CEO Sudip Parikh also lauded the role of social scientists in prescribing policy, noting the importance of data and transparency in that effort. A recording of the hearing and the witnesses’ testimonies are available on the Committee website.