Margaret Taylor is a Project Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and an Engineering Research Associate in Stanford University’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center. She is also affiliated with several units at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served on the faculty from 2002-11 with a primary appointment in the Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP). Margaret has a broad interdisciplinary education and professional experience that bridges engineering, the social sciences, and the environmental sciences; her degrees are from Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia University. Margaret also has legal and Capitol Hill experience in the areas of international trade, energy, and the environment.
Margaret's research, which has won awards from the Academy of Management and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, explores questions at the nexus of innovation and energy/environmental policy. She believes that the mechanisms underlying the relationship between the design and implementation of public policy and the invention, adoption, and diffusion of technologies are not well understood and can have important effects on the social and economic outcomes of public policy. This drives her research agenda, which has predominantly focused on technologies and industries in which government clearly plays a strong role, such as energy and the environment, but has also encompassed industries in which government plays a more subtle role, such as nanotechnology (she is an associate director of a nanotechnology research center at UC Berkeley) and even consumer products.
Margaret’s research approach is problem-driven, drawing theoretical and methodological insights from such fields as economics, sociology, business strategy, and organizational behavior. In the area of energy and environment, her work has spanned such technology domains as energy supply (e.g., renewables), energy demand (e.g., energy efficient appliances), environmental pollution control/remediation (e.g., sulfur dioxide control technologies), and transportation (e.g., advanced drive train vehicles). The policy instruments she has researched include emissions trading, performance-based standards, a regulatory sales mandate, renewable portfolio standards, investment and production tax credits, information policies, and R&D funding. When considering these instruments, she pays particularly close attention to the implications of statutory and regulatory language and related government processes for individual and organizational decision-making related to innovation, and tries to highlight strategic responses, whether they are anticipatory, same-period, or future-period.