02 January 2008

Innovation, education

Happy new year!

An article today about the impact on education of the Alberta oil boom gives a balanced report on Alberta's push for educational investment with its petro-dollars. The cautions raised are fair, but this is a very worthwhile investment in the future when the oil sands dry up, or, perhaps more likely, they give way to greener power.

A related piece from last week by Todd Hirsch raised similar issues with innovation. His piece "Maybe we're just too lazy to invent things" looks at the number of per capita patents in the US and Canada. (Unfortunately, his article is buried in the online archives - you have to subscribe to get access). What both articles have in common is the call for a balanced approach to education - we need both sciences and engineering and social sciences to make innovation work. This will in turn foster innovaiton and ideas that can have social and economic benefit.

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