The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration

New Perspectives on
Invention and Innovation

Moving Beyond Earth:
Innovations in Space

November 18-19, 2011
at the National Air and Space Museum


Keynote Address
Saturday, November 19, 2011

Howard McCurdyLiftoff!

In his wide-ranging keynote presentation, Howard McCurdy explored the role of technological innovation in the past, present, and future of space exploration from a variety of perspectives including history, technology, economics, public policy, and human culture. "The best models of innovation are nonlinear," he asserted, "Spending on one type of science may lead to unexpected discoveries affecting another." It takes more than funding, though, in McCurdy's view. He listed several factors in addition to access to capital that he believes are critical to successful innovation: clear sense of purpose; calculated risk taking; technical discretion; imagination; a culture of creative thinking; competition; teamwork and collaboration; entrepreneurial style; appropriate management; and receptive markets.

Howard McCurdy is a professor of public administration and policy at American University and an authority on space history and policy. His is the author of Space and the American Imagination.

Watch the video of McCurdy's complete talk »
Listen to a podcast interview with Howard McCurdy »

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