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
Chapter 1: The Changing Social Contract for Science and the Evolution of the University
1. The changing social contract for science and the evolution of the university 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...
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