Explore One of the
Greatest Mysteries of All Time!
In Search of
June 18–July 3, 2015
17050 Montebello Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014
For a detailed brochure,
please call (800) 252-4910
All prices are per person twin share + air
The disappearance of
Earhart and Fred
Noonan in 1937 is regarded as one of
the 20th century’s greatest historical
mysteries. Many solutions have been
advanced, but the only one supported
by hard evidence is that they landed
and died on Nikumaroro Atoll. On our
voyage we’ll have lectures by experts
from The International Group for
Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR)
who have studied the
mystery for decades.
We’ll participate in their
research, and who knows,
we may find evidence that
helps solve the mystery.
BETCHART EXPEDITIONS Inc.
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Get more from your
“The public interest requires doing
today,” said 18th-century British statesman
Edmund Burke, “those things that men [and
women] of intelligence and good will would
wish, 5 or 10 years hence, had been done.”
At a time when spectacular research opportunities exist and when global competition
rises, our engine of innovation—the science
and technology that drive economic success—is sputtering. Protecting NSF’s traditional responsibility provides a major component of the fuel we need.
RODNE Y W. NICHOLS
Former Executive Vice President, The Rockefeller University,
President and CEO emeritus New York Academy of Sciences,
S&T Consulting, New York, NY 10028, USA. E-mail: rod.
Research Tax Credits:
An Important Tool
IN HIS NEWS & ANALYSIS PIECE ON THE LAPSE
of the U.S. research and experimenta-
tion (R&E) tax credit (“U.S. tax credit:
Boondoggle or boon for research?,” 3
January, p. 13), D. Malakoff quotes Citizens
for Tax Justice advocates who argue that we
might be better off “if Congress killed the
credit and used the money for targeted, direct
research grants.” While we do not defend the
credit in its current form, we believe (and
have recently explained) that optimal inno-
vation policy requires a mixture of financial
incentives for research and development,
including tax credits as well as other tools
such as grants, patents, and prizes (1).
Targeted research grants are effective
only when government decision-makers can
obtain reliable information about the costs
and benefits of potential research projects.
For many new technologies, the government
is at a comparative disadvantage when it
comes to picking winners, and market signals
may provide a more accurate proxy for social
benefits. Under these circumstances, incen-
tives such as tax credits may be preferable
to grants. Because tax credits only refund a
portion of research expenses, they are gener-
ally used in combination with private invest-
ment and do not displace the role of markets
in allocating resources.
Tax credits might appear inferior to pat-
ents as a way to leverage private information
because tax credits impose a higher cost on
the federal budget, but this disadvantage is
illusory. The reward to innovators from pat-
ents comes from higher prices on patented
products, and these higher prices impose a
“shadow patent tax” on consumers compa-
rable to the more transparent taxes that fund
tax credits, grants, or prizes. This is not to
say that the current implementation of the
R&E tax credit is ideal, but we think that tax
credits play an important role in our innova-
tion policy portfolio.
DANIEL J. HEMEL1 AND
LISA LARRIMORE OUELLETTE2*
1Washington, DC 20002, USA. 2Yale Law School Information
Society Project, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. D. J. Hemel, L. L. Ouellette, Texas Law Rev. 92, 303 (2013).
The Changing Role
of Medieval Women
IN HIS PERSPECTIVE “WOMEN, FERTILITY, AND
the rise of modern capitalism” (25 October
2013, p. 427), A. Alesina correctly pointed