Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation

Rethinking the Rationales for Funding and Governance

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Aldo Geuna, Ammon J. Salter and W. Edward Steinmueller

This book re-examines the rationale for public policy, concluding that the prevailing ‘public knowledge’ model is evolving towards a networked or distributed model of knowledge production and use in which public and private institutions play complementary roles. It provides a set of tools and models to assess the impact of the new network model of funding and governance, and argues that governments need to adapt their funding and administrative priorities and procedures to support the emergence and healthy growth of research networks. The book goes on to explain that interdependencies and complementarities in the production and distribution of knowledge require a new and more contextual, flexible and complex approach to government funding, monitoring and assessment.

Chapter 1: The Changing Social Contract for Science and the Evolution of the University

Ben R. Martin

Subjects: innovation and technology, innovation policy

Extract

Ben R. Martin 1 INTRODUCTION According to some (for example, Ziman 1991, 1994, 2000; Pelikan 1992), science and the university are under threat. As we move towards a more knowledge-intensive society, academics face pressures to link their work more closely to the needs of the economy and society with (it is feared) potentially adverse long-term consequences for scientific research and for the university. This has been characterized (for example, by Guston and Keniston 1994a) as a fundamental change in the ‘social contract’ between science and the university, on the one hand, and the state, on the other, with the latter now having much more specific expectations regarding the outputs sought from the former in return for public funding. Others (Gibbons et al. 1994) have described it in terms of a transition from ‘Mode 1’ to ‘Mode 2’ knowledge production. This chapter argues that, if one adopts a longer-term historical perspective, then what we are witnessing appears to be not so much the appearance of a new (and hence potentially worrying) phenomenon, but more a shift back towards a social contract closer to the one in effect for much of the period before the second half of the twentieth century. In what follows, we first consider previous versions of the social contract, in particular those embodied in the Humboldt university model and the contract set out by Vannevar Bush in 1945. After analysing the global driving forces subjecting the social contract to change, we examine the revised contract...

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