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Caroline S. Wagner

Associate Professor

Dr. Caroline S. Wagner conducts research in the field of science and technology and its relationship to policy, society and innovation, with a particular focus on international collaboration.

Wagner received a doctorate in science and technology dynamics from Amsterdam School of Communications Research, University of Amsterdam, a Master of Arts in Science, Technology and Public Policy from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College.

She currently serves on the faculty of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and as an advisor to the Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy — a research center within the Glenn College. She is on the advisory board of Ohio State University ADVANCE program to increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.

Prior to joining Ohio State’s faculty in 2011, Wagner was a policy analyst working with and for government in a career that spanned more than 30 years and three continents. At The RAND Corporation, she was deputy to the director of the Science & Technology Policy Institute, a research center serving the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. This position included crafting and coordinating research projects related to science and technology subjects across a number of disciplines and locations. Wagner’s role was to act as project manager, writer and policy analyst on more than 12 major projects for RAND. Also, with RAND, Wagner served at RAND Europe’s office in Leiden, Netherlands, working for the European Commission. She also worked twice as staff member for the U.S. Congress, once as a Professional Staff Member for the Committee for Science, Space and Technology, and once as an analyst for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. With the U.S. State Department, Wagner was stationed for two years at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, as an economic officer reporting on technological change in Asia. Wagner is a distinguished fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Knowledge creation, dissemination and application are at the core of Wagner’s research. She is particularly interested in collaborative efforts to conduct research, development and innovation. Public policy towards investments in science, technology and new economy are at the center of her work, and this extends to developing countries that seek to use knowledge as the basis for growth. Her 2008 book, “The New Invisible College: Science for Development,” focused on using network concepts to diffuse knowledge and application of new ideas.

Wagner engages with students at all levels, from a freshman seminar on the history of space, to doctoral students in public policy analysis. Her favorite class is Leadership in Public and Nonprofit Sectors, where she teaches and guides the future leaders of our nation and where she brings her own experience working with the White House and the U.S. Congress into the classroom. She welcomes students dropping by her office at any time.

Wagner serves as a consultant to the United Nations for the Sustainable Development Goals, and has served as a consultant to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. For the Royal Society of London, Wagner advised and co-wrote the report on “Knowledge, Networks and Nations.” She served on the Millennium Development Goals Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation. She is the editor of the journal Science and Public Policy. In Ohio, she is actively working with Smart Cities and the “Maker Movement” to disseminate ideas for economic growth.

Wagner has been married for 33 years to Dennis McIntosh, and together they are the proud parents of three children.

Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome.