In a new book, MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman asserts that we need to overcome the Internet’s sorting tendencies and create tools to make ourselves ‘digital cosmopolitans.’
Leaders from both political parties in Massachusetts and New Hampshire this week hailed the findings detailed in MIT: The Impact of Innovation, the BankBoston Economics Department report.
US Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy all issued statements after reviewing advance copies of the report.
"As Congress begins work this year on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, this study is particularly timely," said Sen. Kennedy. "It demonstrates that investing in education is investing in the future. I commend MIT on the outstanding achievements of its graduates, and its indispensable role in building a strong local, regional and national economy for the future."
"The people of Massachusetts have always known that MIT is a huge asset for our state and our country," Sen. Kerry said. "Now we know just how big an asset it is. We simply wouldn't recognize the Massachusetts economy today if not for the enormous impact of MIT and our other research institutions over the years. These businesses also help stimulate smaller local economies by generating national and international sales," said Sen. Gregg, a Republican. "Earnings, in turn, may be reinvested in US residents and communities. As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, I will continue to strongly support funding for research universities such as MIT."
"Colleges and universities in Massachusetts have been the birthplace of hundreds of cutting-edge ideas that have moved beyond the theoretical and pushed their way into our living rooms and offices," said Gov. Weld. "Research being done today by three graduate students glued to their PCs may translate into an entirely new industry, creating jobs and fueling our economic engine."
"Federal investments in research and development produce a payoff in jobs for the American people that is second to none," said Democratic Rep. Kennedy. "The creation of over 4,000 companies and a million jobs by the graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology vividly illustrates the impact of that investment.
"From the development of computers to advances in biotechnology, MIT has been in the forefront of new job creation, and we must do everything we can to ensure the continued development of quality students, quality ideas and quality companies from our nation's leading research universities. We should be increasing rather than decreasing funding in our national R&D account."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 5, 1997.