12: Think Global, Act Global

For global collaborations around innovation to succeed, and for global flows of science and technology genuinely to convert nation states into a secondary factor in innovation, innovation needs to be internationalist in thought and deed.

The innovator should aim to benefit the whole world, not any particular purse or nation. He or she should know about and uphold the achievements of innovators abroad, and oppose all attempts to pervert or stunt innovation there.

There is no such thing as Jewish physics, which is what the Nazis called Einstein’s relativity theory. Nor, by themselves, do the Nazi origins of the coal-to-liquids Fischer-Tropsch process make it a redundant energy technology. Yes, Israeli universities are tainted by their involvement in military R&D – but exactly the same is true of universities everywhere. The direction and worth of scientific enquiry can be distorted by different political regimes (most notoriously, genetics under Joseph Stalin and immunology under Thabo Mbeki). But if a piece of science can withstand expert criticism and the classic test of falsifiability, then its benefits in technology and innovation are indivisible.