McCormick Faculty Fellow Calls on Silicon Valley for More Scientific Discovery in City Journal

Mark Mills argues for greater investment in research to advance basic science

Modern technology like smartphones and apps have made a lasting impact on communication and culture, but are today’s Silicon Valley leaders coming up short in advancing science?

Mark MillsMcCormick Faculty Fellow Mark Mills believes so. In a recent editorial in City Journal, he argues that today’s tech giants must make the same committed investments toward research and new scientific discoveries that their predecessors made decades ago. 

According to Mills, current innovation emerging from technology leaders like Apple and Google center on products, like unmanned drones and self-driving cars, instead of science. Compared to similar technology companies of the last century, when the likes of Bell Labs and IBM won more than a dozen Nobel Prizes for their contributions to advance basic science, today’s devices fail to represent the same progress. 

“Foundational economic and social transformations don’t come from making products to compete with cab or power companies,” Mills writes. “They come from basic research that radically advances our understanding of—and thus derivatively, our ability to manipulate and literally engineer—nature’s underlying laws and materials.”

Read the editorial at City Journal.