90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
MIT President Questions Congress' Commitment To U.S. Innovation

MIT President Susan Hockfield (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Fears of a stalled recovery and a loss of American economic power globally are on the minds of many these days.

In a 21st century world where new products and innovation mean everything, the sciences – the engine of so much past American innovation – have suffered major cutbacks in funding from Congress.

On Thursday’s edition of On Point, host Tom Ashbrook asked whether science can nevertheless dig the country out of its financial hole, this time around.

It can, said Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield.

“I think science is up to the challenge, I think the people of the United States are up to the challenge — our great question right now is whether Congress is up to the challenge,” Hockfield said.

“At the time the United States is reducing its investments, other countries are racing to try and repeat the miracle that was the American innovation-based economy following World War II.”
– Susan Hockfield, MIT President

The U.S. Congress has appropriated money for innovation research and development, but these investments have been on the decline over the years — federal funding for research in physical science, as a percentage of GDP, is down 54 percent.

Thanks to a record national deficit, raising funding for innovation — the one thing that could bring the U.S. back to its economic glory days — has been put on the back burner, she said.

“One of our concerns is that the enthusiasm for decreasing the deficit would cut the kind of seed corn that we rely on to actually grow our economy,” Hockfield said.

“At the time the United States is reducing its investments, other countries are racing to try and repeat the miracle that was the American innovation-based economy following World War II.”

MIT is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a new exhibit at the MIT Museum, open to the public on Saturday. Check back on wbur.org on Friday to see a preview of the exhibit, which will feature 150 objects from its inception until today.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Mike Dailey

    What was the “Indian Style” Music Playing as the lead in to “On Point” at around 3:40PM today (Thursday, 01/06/10)?

    Very cool lead in music and would love to know from where in order to obtain it.

    I was listening to ‘On Point’ on NPR in Louisville between 3:00pm and 4:00pm.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!
    Mike Dailey
    Floyds Knobs, Indiana

  • http://www.onpointradio.org Eileen Imada

    Hello Mike–

    I believe that the music you heard was “Ghoom Charkhana” by Najma.

    I hope it’s what you’re looking for.

    Thanks for listening.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

There is nothing more American than a piece of pie. We taste and talk pies.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 24, 2014
Orchid (Galileo55/Flickr)

We’ll look at the new science of what plants feel, smell, see – and remember.

 
Jul 24, 2014
Youths seen playing basketball through bars on a window at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Ethan Allen School in Wales, Wis. (AP file)

The cold hard facts about juvenile prisons. And the case for shutting them all down. Plus: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is with us.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

More »
Comment
 
The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

More »
Comment
 
Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

More »
1 Comment