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
Conclusions The system of governance for science, the web of institutions both inside and outside the state that shape the incentives, social norms and priorities of scientiﬁc research, is a principal source of external inﬂuence on scientiﬁc research activities and the organization of scientiﬁc institutions. In the last two decades of the twentieth century, there has been a shift away from statedominated governance systems towards more distributed models of governance. Features of the old model of the governance of science, which emerged immediately after the Second World War and prevailed until the 1980s, included a dominant role for the state support of science and the separation of scientiﬁc communities from the rest of society. This old model was rooted in a high level of public trust or, at least, high levels of expectation for the contribution of science and scientists to society. Public support was based not only on the principle that science could contribute in a major way to the making of a better world, but also that scientiﬁc research (and only partially, if at all, technological research) was a public good that would produce the greatest returns for society if it were freely available to all those who might make eﬀective use of it. The public good rationale directly supported the role of government as a principal actor in funding the scientiﬁc system. This conﬁguration of purposes and rationales comprised a reference model for science policy and a platform...
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