About New Things Under the Sun
We are in the midst of an incredible flourishing of academic research on innovation, science of science, creativity, and technological progress. New Things Under the Sun is a newsletter accessible to non-specialists, but written with enough depth for readers to understand the methods and evidence for claims made.
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Who are you?
Matt Clancy! I did a dissertation on the economics of innovation, worked on science policy as a research economist at the USDA for a few years, and now teach at Iowa State University, in the Department of Economics. Among other things, I teach an economics of innovation class and do research on innovation. Learn more about me here.
How do you decide what to write about?
I think a group of papers approaching a question from different perspectives is more informative than profiling a single really cool research project; it’s also closer to how knowledge actually evolves. So my usual (but not universal) format is to pick a handful of papers around a common question or theme. All else equal, I lean towards newer work, and work that is not already getting a lot of coverage.
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That said, to keep things short, I have to leave off relevant papers. Over time, I plan to return to topics and by building a network of links to previous newsletters, hopefully a more nuanced picture of the evolving state of research emerges.