Science and Innovation
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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.
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Conclusions

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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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