Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, April 29, 2009
HP Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B01

Systems Architecture, Kabuki Capitalism, and the Economic Manhattan Project:
In which Eric Weinstein as proposer of the EMP accepts an invitation to debate the public challenge issued by Prof. Paul Romer on the latter's home campus.

Eric Weinstein
Natron Group
About the talk:

As originally conceived, this talk was to be a debate on the merits of an Economic Manhattan Project. Eric Weinstein was to argue the affirimative and Paul Romer, the negative. Paul Romer, Senior Fellow in the Stanford Center for International Development (SCID) and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), who framed the original challenge, was invited but declined to participate.


In the December 11th, 2008, John Brockman's published as part of Edge 269 the article

CAN SCIENCE HELP SOLVE THE ECONOMIC CRISIS? By Mike Brown, Stuart Kauffman, Zoe-Vonna Palmrose and Lee Smolin

Eric Weinstein was not a named author but participated in the discussion. Brockman summarized:

In the near-term, Eric Weinstein has spoken about an "economic Manhattan project". This means getting a group of good scientists together, some who know a lot about economics and finance, and others, who have proved themselves in other areas of science but bring fresh minds and perspectives to the challenge, to focus on developing a scientific conceptualization of economic theory and modeling that is reliable enough to be called a science.

Paul Romer, a Professor of Economics in the Stanford Business School, wrote a commentary about the Edge article's content and the subsequent discussion and offered the following challenges to Eric Weinstein's proposal for an Economic Manhattan Project:

I guess that these outsiders are supposed to purge economics and finance of the aforementioned ideology and failed assumptions. But before we put up money for an "economic Manhattan Project," wouldn't it make sense to ask if there is any evidence to support the basic claim here--that more theory, developed by people who don't have domain experience, is the key to scientific progress in macroeconomics and finance?


Interested in participating in an Economics Manhattan Project? Send email to .


Readings and reference materials.


Those in the Colloquium audience who are deeply interested in this topic may find the following conference of interest.

The Economic Crisis and Implications for Science and its Implications for The Science of Economics, May 1-4 2009, Ontario, Canada.

Many of the talks presented at The Economic Crisis and Implications for Science and its Implications for The Science of Economics conference are now on line, HERE.


There is no downloadable version of the slides for this talk available at this time.

About the speaker:

[speaker photo] ERIC R. WEINSTEIN is a Mathematician, and Economist who is a Principal at the Natron Group in Manhattan. He speaks and publishes on a variety of topics including, gauge theory, immigration, the market for elite labor, management of financial risk and the incentivizing of risk taking in science. (from

Contact information:

Eric Weinstein
Natron Group, New York City WWW: