Category Archives: Vannever Bush

What Bayh-Dole has stolen from us

In an article published August 29, 2021 in The Intercept, Alexander Zaitchik describes the passage of the Bayh-Dole Act as “The Great American Science Heist,” with the subtitle “How the Bayh-Dole Act Wrested Public Science From the People’s Hands.” He … Continue reading

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Senator Nelson on the problem of “public interest” in federal patent policy, 1

The “public interest” plays an important role in federal invention policy. In 1963, President Kennedy announced a policy that permitted nonprofit organizations to request to retain title to inventions made in federally funded work, providing that Where the commercial interests … Continue reading

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Learning from Latker’s 1984 “Federal Initiatives for Innovation” Talk

In 1984 Norman Latker, who as NIH patent counsel drafted the Bayh-Dole Act on the sly, gave a talk (“Federal Initiatives For Innovation“) to the American Intellectual Property Association. At the time, Latker worked for the Department of Commerce, and … Continue reading

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The Faculty Stack, 4: Frontiers Science and Other Science

We are working toward the faculty stack. To get there, however, we need context. We started with Vannevar Bush’s problem–how to connect federal resources to the free play of free intellects to expand the frontiers of science. The new awareness … Continue reading

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The faculty stack, 2: Basic Research and IP Policy

The idea I will pursue here is that university faculty represent a distinct and important kind of discoverer–researcher, investigator, noodler, gadgeteer, irrelevanteur, loon. Our search for what we cannot imagine depends in having at least some really capable folks out … Continue reading

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Unenforced, Bayh-Dole enables a federal offer to look the other way on price-gouging

The government’s failure to use its government license to practice and have practiced (=make, use, and sell) puts undue pressure on march-in to address nonuse and unreasonable use of inventions arising in work receiving federal support. NIST wants to gut … Continue reading

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Bush v Kilgore v the Old Order v Now

In 2005, Nicholas Steneck at the University of Michigan taught a course in the history of science–“Science, Technology and Society–1940 to the Present.” Here’s his lecture outline for the part about federally funded science and engineering during World War 2: … Continue reading

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Vannever Bush on the control of scientists

Here’s Vannever Bush on the institutional desire to control scientists: There is nothing more deadly than control of the activities of scientists and engineers by men who do not really understand, but think they do or must at least give … Continue reading

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Shaping Science

A short version of a Research Enterprise article on Daniel Sarewitz’s “Saving Science” is posted as correspondence at The New Atlantis, where Sarewitz also responds to various comments on his paper. In part, Sarewitz gathers some of those comments into … Continue reading

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How Bayh-Dole went wrong and what might be done, 2

The nature of federal research contracts Let’s work through how Bayh-Dole might have been structured. We start with the nature of federal contracts. A federal contract is not quite like a conventional contract formed under state laws. The federal government … Continue reading

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