Aug 1, 2022 • 1HR 33M

Policy Reform for Progress | Andrew Kenneson, Maxwell Tabarrok, Brent Skorup & Richard Hanania

Winners of the CSPI Essay Contest on how to unlock geothermal energy, reform science funding, and auction drone airspace

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Discussions with CSPI scholars and leading thinkers in science, technology, and politics.
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On this week’s CSPI Podcast, Richard interviews the top three winners of the CSPI Essay Contest: Policy Reform For Progress.

The first interview is with contest winner Andrew Kenneson, a program navigator at a public housing authority in Kodiak, Alaska and former reporter. In “Gathering Steam: Unlocking Geothermal Potential in the United States,” Andrew explains why exempting geothermal exploration on federally owned lands from NEPA requirements could set off a cascade of energy innovation.

The second interview (starting at 29:12) is with Maxwell Tabarrok, an Econ and Math student at the University of Virginia whose essay on science funding reform “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” won second prize. Maxwell proposes a system of research guided funding in which the ~$120 billion spent by the federal government on science each year is distributed equally to the ~250,000 full-time STEM faculty at high research activity universities.

The third interview (starting at 57:03) is with Brent Skorup, a senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center and a visiting faculty fellow at the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center at the Nebraska College of Law. Brent’s 3rd place essay, “Drone Airspace: A New Global Asset Class,” outlines how public auctions for drone airspace would be an improvement on the FAA’s current plan to ration airspace to a few lucky companies.

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Winning Essays:

Honorable Mentions: