Anti-Innovation Norms

18 December 2018 | 17:00 — 18:30

FBK Aula Piccola

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula Piccola

FBK Aula Piccola

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali
Aula Piccola

The event continues and consolidates FBK-ISR’s work on the interactions between religion and innovation in contemporary societies. The talk is open to the public and will be held in English.

ABSTRACT
Anti-Innovation Norms
Innovation scholars have recently turned their attention to social norms—informal rules that emerge from and are enforced by nonhierarchically organized social forces—as a promising way to spur innovation. The narrative that has emerged celebrates social norms’ ability to solve innovation’s free-rider problem without incurring costs associated with other mainstream solutions like intellectual property.
But this account does not fully consider the dark side of social norms. In fact, certain social norms, when overenforced, can create substantial barriers to the most socially beneficial creative pursuits. This talk examines the dark side of innovation norms, coining the term “anti-innovation norms” to label these counterproductive social forces.
Using the double lens of sociology and psychology, I will give a theoretical account of three types of anti-innovation norms: research priority, methodology, and evaluation norms—all of which interfere with socially beneficial boundary-crossing innovation.
The elucidation of anti-innovation norms has implications for both the innovation scholarship and the intersection of innovation and religion. On the one hand, it suggests that even secular communities may adopt a quasi-“religious” adherence to particular scientific and artistic approaches, through the workings of social norms. On the other, the social and psychological forces that drive norms in scientific and artistic communities are also likely at work in religious communities, and may help explain how and why particular religious communities evolve (or fail to evolve) over time.

Speakers

  • Stephanie Plamondon Bair is an associate professor at BYU Law School and a visiting professor at Notre Dame Law School. After earning a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, she graduated from Harvard Law School, spent time as a patent litigation attorney, and was the inaugural resident fellow with Stanford's Program in Neuroscience and Society. Her research focuses on mind sciences, innovation, and the law, and she is particularly interested in applying empirical work in psychology and neuroscience to current legal and policy challenges in intellectual property law, criminal law, public health law, and other areas. Her recent publications include Anti-Innovation Norms (Northwestern U. L. Rev. 2018) (with Laura Pedraza-Fariña); Malleable Rationality (Ohio St. L. J. 2018); Rational Faith: The Utility of Fairness in Copyright (B.U. L. Rev. 2017); and Innovation Inc. (Berkeley Tech. L. J. 2017).

Contacts

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