James McNerney is a research scientist at the Growth Lab in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and since January 2022 a member of the CSH External Faculty. Previously he was a researcher and Leading Technology and Policy Fellow at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at MIT. He was also a graduate fellow at the Santa Fe Institute and at Boston University, where he completed a PhD in physics.
James’s research interests lie at the intersection of economic and physical systems with a particular focus on the dynamics of technologies. He studies the processes by which technologies evolve and how this leads to performance improvements, adoption, environmental impacts, and macroeconomic outcomes of economic growth and structural transformation. He draws on frameworks in complex networks, engineering, and economics to describe and understand these processes.
James’ work has been published in top journals such as PNAS and Nature Energy, and covered in media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, and NBC.