First Looks: Spring 2018

Reconceptualizing Infrastructure in the Anthropocene

The growing impact of human activities on all the Earth’s systems requires a concomitant change in the way we design and manage the built environment.

Perspective: FDA Overreach on Genetically Engineered Animals

US regulation of biotechnology is overbearing and dysfunctional, slowing innovation and competition in an industry both economically important and critical to human health.

What We Mean When We Talk about Workforce Skills

Employers’ complaints about skill shortages mask a deeper struggle to preserve and extend their leverage in the labor market.

Reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program

Congress has the opportunity to make this program more transparent, more cost-effective, more equitable, and more appealing to property owners.

Helping Communities Use Data to Make Better Decisions

Communities, especially small and rural ones, need to take advantage of new techniques for collecting and analyzing data to better serve their residents. Here’s a plan to help them succeed.

Slouching Toward the Downton Abbey University System

Dwindling financial support and ever-increasing federal and state unfunded mandates are forcing public universities to take actions that undermine the effectiveness of a vital component of the US innovation system and the nation’s most powerful engine of social mobility.


Helping fathers be parents; fostering economic growth; coal facts; reinvigorating nuclear energy; climate and character.

Philosopher’s Corner: What is “Fair”? Algorithms in Criminal Justice

The use of algorithms in criminal justice, widely employed in areas such as pre-trial decision-making, demands a closer look.

Economic Policy in the Time of Reactionary Populism

Addressing the nation’s unrest will require a rejection of some cherished economic dogmas.

We Need New Rules for Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous vehicles will change the world in ways both anticipated and entirely unexpected. New rules should be flexible while ensuring that self-driving cars are safe, broadly accessible, and avoid the worst unintended consequences.

Table of Contents for the Spring 2018 issue

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