Why Corporate America Gave Up on R&D

American companies used to be at the cutting edge of science and technology. Not anymore.

General Electric Research Laboratory. Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection

American businesses have had a long history of being at the cutting edge of technology. Corporate labs at GE, DuPont, and AT&T’s Bell Labs were responsible for significant advances in science and technology in the 20th century, leading the development of…