Pirsa: 08090036 - Sheldon Glashow Owes me a Dollar (and 17 years of interest): What happens in the marketplace of ideas when the endless frontier meets the efficient frontier?


Eric Weinstein

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The emergence of novel funding structures in science may be seen as paralleling developments in financial engineering over the past 25 years. In this comparison, entities like FQXi, Perimeter Institute, CMI, Howard Hughes, the Gates Foundation and other funding agencies are emerging as \'intellectual hedge funds\' in response to perceived inefficiencies of more traditional agents, which play the role of mutual funds. Unfortunately, this experiment may prove less successful in the absence of instruments specifically tailored to hedge the uncertainties inherent in research which is both risky and potentially disruptive. Markets are said to be incomplete or inefficiently structured when they fail in the allocation of scarce resources to optimally digest the views held by market participants. Time permitting, this talk will explore possible opportunities stemming from inefficiencies in the scientific marketplace of ideas: *The risks of Injunctive Peer Review vs. Non-Invasive Short Selling *Synthetic Tenure vs. Traditional Tenure *Correlation Risks: Critical Mass vs. Diversification *Managing Bleed from \'Long Volatility\' Investing *Self-Policing Fiefdoms: Balancing the benefits of expertise and specialization against counterparty risk, \'moral hazard\', \'adverse selection\' and \'rent-seeking\' behavior. *Risks from media mediation of scientific disputes and the economic roots of character attack. *Costs and benefits from Immigration and the free flow of neurons across borders. *Traditional One-to-One Advising vs. Eusocial Training *Markets as systems of selective pressures: The riddle of successful adaptive valley crossers in recent scientific history.
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