Science, and the technologies it has spawned, have been the principal drivers of the American economy since the end of post World War II. Today, economists estimate that a whopping 85% of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth traces its origin to science and technology. The size of the impact should not be a surprise, considering the ubiquity of modern technologies.

Innovation has brought us the consumer products we take for granted: smart phones and tablets, CD and DVD players, cars that are loaded with electronics and GPS navigating tools and that rarely break down, search engines such as Google and Yahoo, the Internet, LED lights, microwave ovens, and much more. Technology has also made our military stronger and kept our ...

Get Navigating the Maze now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.