Henry Sauermann: The CCC is a unique opportunity to interact with dear friends and get to know the next generation of scholars. It is a great way to be exposed to cutting edge research across a variety of areas of research and to learn from participants who take great pride in providing presenters with constructive feedback. However, this year’s highlight for me was a session to celebrate Dick Nelson. I had read many of his papers and books, yet this session brought it all together – facilitated by great panelists who, through their own journeys and accomplishments, were in the position to appreciate and uniquely convey the magnitude of Dick’s contributions to the study of innovation and technological change. I am deeply grateful to be part of this amazing community.
I really enjoyed the tribute to Dick Nelson as well and hearing about all he was able to accomplish both as a scholar and as a teacher and mentor to doctoral students.
I particularly liked the debate on whether we’ve lost the zeal for the big questions. Tim Simcoe made some great points that while it’s good to go after big new questions and create new buildings, we should respect those who are shoring up the foundations of the field with careful, rigorous research designs and causal identification of effects.
Hearing Sarah’s comments had me sympathizing with her side of the debate as well that the big questions are often difficult to measure and that if we didn’t have zeal for them then we wouldn’t be in this field.
Finally Chris Rider brought out what I thought was the key point, which of course is that we need people doing both in the field and that the best research is both empirically rigorous and pursues a big, important question.