Research

My research focuses on energy innovation, particularly the management of science and technology to accelerate the transition to a clean and sustainable energy system. I use the tools of social science to assess the effectiveness of R&D programs across government, corporate and university settings. My training as a physical scientist gives me an advantage in understanding both the technical and social barriers to extracting usable knowledge from investments in science and engineering. My goal as a researcher is to empirically examine past energy R&D efforts in order to inform the design of future initiatives.

Recent Publications

A. P. Goldstein; V. Narayanamurti, “Simultaneous Pursuit of Discovery and Invention in the US Department of Energy”, Research Policy, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.05.005
Link to journal page
Accepted manuscript [PDF]
Abstract: There is a sharp boundary between basic and applied research in the organizational structure of the US Department of Energy (DOE). In this work, we consider a branch of DOE that was designed to operate across this boundary: the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). We hypothesize that much of energy research cannot be neatly categorized as basic or applied and is more productive outside of the confines of the basic/applied dichotomy; ARPA-E gives us an opportunity to test that hypothesis. We construct a novel dataset of nearly 4000 extramural financial awards given by DOE in fiscal years 2010 through 2015, primarily to businesses and universities. We collect the early knowledge outputs of these awards from Web of Science and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Compared to similar awards from other parts of DOE, ARPA-E awards are significantly more likely to jointly produce both a publication and a patent. ARPA-E has been highly productive in creating new technology, while also contributing new scientific knowledge. This observation points to the productive overlap of science and technology in energy research and, more generally, for mission-oriented research funding organizations.

G. Chan, A. P. Goldstein, A. Bin-Nun, L. Diaz Anadon, V. Narayanamurti, “Six principles for energy innovation,” Nature, 2017. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-017-07761-0
Link to full text

A. P. Goldstein, P. Azoulay, J. Graff Zivin, V. Bulovic, “Promoting Energy Innovation with Lessons from Drug Development,” Policy Proposal for The Hamilton Project, 2017.
Full text [PDF]

A. P. Goldstein, “Why Are We Waiting?: The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change, by Nicolas Stern”, Science and Public Policy, 2017. DOI: 10.1093/scipol/scx030
Link to full text

Working Papers

A. P. Goldstein; M. Kearney, “Uncertainty and Individual Discretion in Allocating Research Funds”, under review, 2018.

Abstract: New ideas at the frontier of knowledge often encounter resistance from the community of active researchers. Many research funding programs rank proposals by peer review scores, thereby limiting their ability to fund novel and transformative research. An alternative system empowers an individual to use expert discretion to make funding decisions. We show here that individual discretion has been implemented at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) in the United States Department of Energy. Using internal program data from 2009 to 2015, we examine the determinants of project selection and the short-term productivity of projects in terms of publications, patenting, and market engagement. Our key findings are 1) ARPA-E program directors use significant discretion, 2) they tend to fund projects with champions among the external reviewers, without being swayed by skeptics, and 3) there is no evidence that this use of discretion has reduced the quality of ARPA-E’s research portfolio.

Physical Chemistry and Materials
Synthesis of Nanostructured Graphene and BN Aerogels

A. K. Zettl, M. Rousseas, A. P. Goldstein, W. Mickelson, M. A. Worsley, L. Woo, “Crystalline Boron Nitride Aerogels,” US Patent 9611146, April 4, 2017.

T. Pham*; A. P. Goldstein*; J. Lewicki; S. O. Kucheyev; C. Wang; T. P. Russell; M. A. Worsley; L. Woo; W. Mickelson; A. Zettl, “Nanoscale Structure and Superhydrophobicity of sp2-Bonded Boron Nitride Aerogels,” Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 10449.

A. P. Goldstein; W. Mickelson; A. Machness; G. Lee; M. A. Worsley; L. Woo; A. Zettl, “Simultaneous Sheet Cross-Linking and Deoxygenation in the Graphene Oxide Sol-Gel Transition,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 2014, 118, 28855.

M. Rousseas; A. P. Goldstein; W. Mickelson; M. A. Worsley; L. Woo; A. Zettl, “Synthesis of Highly Crystalline sp2-Bonded Boron Nitride Aerogels,” ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 8540.

Crystal Structure of Metal Oxide Nanowires for Water Splitting

A. P. Goldstein; S. C. Andrews; R. F. Berger; J. B. Neaton; P. Yang, “Zigzag Inversion Domain Boundaries in Indium Zinc Oxide-Based Nanowires: Structure and Formation,” ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 10747.

Photophysical Properties of Chromophores for Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

T. E. Knight; A. P. Goldstein; M. K. Brennaman; T. Cardolaccia; A. Pandya; J. M. DeSimone; T. J. Meyer, “Influence of the Fluid-to-Film Transition on Photophysical Properties of MLCT Excited States in a Polymerizable Dimethacrylate Fluid,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 2011, 115, 64.

P. G. Hoertz; A. P. Goldstein; C. Donley; T. J. Meyer, “Using the Voids. Evidence for an Antenna Effect in Dye-Sensitized Mesoporous TiO2 Thin Films,” J. Phys. Chem. B, 2010, 114, 14772.