M. Granger Morgan is Professor and Head of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon, where he is also Lord Chair Professor in Engineering. He also has appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management. His research addresses problems in science, technology, and public policy, and especially the development and demonstration of methods to characterize and treat uncertainty in quantitative policy analysis. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California-San Diego in 1969, and has been at Carnegie Mellon for 29 years.
Chapter 14, selection: Technology and Public
Over the past four decades a number of technically-based
academic programs have been created to address problems in public policy
in which matters of science and engineering are of central importance.
This chapter begins with a general discussion of the growth of such programs.
It then discusses a number of key obstacles that have complicated such
growth, and prevented the creation of programs at many universities. The
chapter concludes with a description of the Department of Engineering
and Public Policy (EPP), an unusual department in the College of Engineering
(CIT) at Carnegie Mellon University. The history of the department is
outlined, the institutional arrangements which allow it to function are
described, and the academic and research program are briefly summarized.
The focus is on what makes our Department distinctive and innovative.
Like business schools, professional schools of public
policy have become commonplace. Leading examples include the Lyndon B.
Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin; the
Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley;
the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; and the
H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon
University. Business schools and policy schools are built on the proposition
that there is a core of analytical and management skills that provide
graduates with the foundations to succeed across a wide range of positions
in their field.
While it is true that an MBA is good preparation for
many management jobs, it is also true that success in a number of management
jobs in highly technical industrial sectors requires a deep knowledge
of the core technologies of the industry. It is not an accident that Raytheon,
Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and Qualcomm were founded and built by first-rate
technical people. The same holds true in public policy. There are many
policy problems that can be readily addressed by treating the technical
dimensions, if any, as a "black box." Indeed, such a strategy
can be beneficial because it minimizes the risk of getting bogged down
in irrelevant technical detail. However, as in business, there is an important
subset of public policy problems in which reasonable solutions can only
be developed if one understands and deals in detail with the technical
substance of the problem. As the world becomes more and more dependent
on technology, the portion of policy problems that fall in this latter
category continues to grow.
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