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Science Policy and Social Change. December 2003. S&T Drive Economic Growth. Scientific and technical changes accounts for as much as 50% of long-run economic growth, even perhaps as much as 75%. Public Science is Pillar of Industry.

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s t drive economic growth
S&T Drive Economic Growth
  • Scientific and technical changes accounts for as much as 50% of long-run economic growth, even perhaps as much as 75%.
public science is pillar of industry
Public Science is Pillar of Industry

73% of science papers cited by U.S. industrial patents were based on research financed by government or nonprofit agencies.

Trends in Basic Research Funding

FY 1976-2004

science is a principal driver of change
Science is a Principal Driver of Change

Science has the power to completely transform civilization. For some, science has made life comfortable and secure. For others, it has meant death and destruction
















Weapons of



science policy can drive outcomes
Science Policy Can Drive Outcomes

Types of Benefits

Emergence of

New Problems

Given the impact of science, science policy is the key variable, yet almost entirely ignored.



Distribution of


Distribution of



What are the major science policy issues in China and how do they affect you?

evolution of the u s nis
Evolution of the U.S. NIS
  • Laissez-Faire (1790-1940)
  • War and Post-War (1940-1950)
  • Federalization (1950-1975)
laissex faire 1790 1940
Laissex-Faire (1790-1940)
  • Government has no distinct S&T policy or mission
  • Key institutions in NIS were independent corporate R&D labs
  • In the late 19th century, universities emerge as the home of basic science and advanced training
war and post war 1940 1950
War and Post-War (1940-1950)
  • Government establishes R&D institutions and expanded academic role to support the war effort
  • Large-scale federal investment, federally mandated objectives, targeted funding and industry-government cooperation are the norm
  • By end of war, hundreds of new labs established and potential of large-scale R&D to meet national objectives is demonstrated
science the endless frontier
Science the Endless Frontier
  • President Roosevelt asks Vannevar Bush, the director of the war-time OSRD, to look ahead to the role of science in peacetime
  • Science the Endless Frontier becomes the foundation for U.S. science policy
foundations of u s science policy
Foundations of U.S. Science Policy
  • Republic of Science
    • Self-regulation by scientists
  • Market Failure Model
    • Basic science as a public good
  • Unpredictability
    • Science as experimentation
current approach to science policy
Current Approach to Science Policy
  • Addresses
    • Conduct of S&T
    • Products and processes of S&T
  • Assumes
    • All societal outcomes will be positive
    • Linear model of innovation and societal benefit

Inputs Processes Products Outcomes

federalization nis institutions
Federalization: NIS Institutions
  • Hundred of large industrial labs
  • Dozens of large federal labs
  • Thousands of small technology-oriented labs and companies
  • Hundred of unconnected and unplanned federal labs
  • Hundreds of thousands of researchers at universities
indications of societal transformation
Indications of Societal Transformation
  • GMO controversy
  • Affordability of AIDS drugs
  • Lack of medical insurance
  • Aging of the population
  • Changing climate

How can science and science-based technology most effectively contribute to an improved quality of life for the greatest number of people?

  • Malaria is the leading cause of death in young children. It is estimated that if malaria had been eradicated in Africa by 1960, GDP would be 32% higher than it is today.
  • Until the 1950s, polio crippled thousands of children every year in industrialized countries.
dual agenda science and social equity
Dual Agenda: Science and Social Equity
  • The challenge is to develop S&T policy that reaches a significant proportion of the population
    • S&T and social issues are critically interdependent
    • Technology strategy drives government spending and its social outcomes
    • Linear thinking in technology policy is linear thinking in social outcomes

How does the science that we do affect the social choices we make?

  • The two atomic bombs dropped during WWII killed 150,000 people.
  • More than 100 million women are on birth control pills. More than 80% of women in the U.S. born after 1945 have used the pill.

How do the S&T programs we implement affect the distribution and equity of outcomes?

  • Sub-Saharan Africa holds 2% of the world’s population, but 30% of the AIDS population
  • Three million people worldwide died of AIDS this past year, 2.3 million of them in southern Africa
lessons from old science policy
Lessons from Old Science Policy
  • Desired outcomes can drive the science
  • Societal value of new knowledge is determined by how it is used and by whom it is used
  • Societal outcomes reflect who is making science policy
  • Desired outcomes emerge when scientific advance is well-matched by societal needs
cycle dynamics
Cycle Dynamics


New skills





New social



New industries

New institutions




of Science

Tech transfer



Knowledge transfer

new science policy
New Science Policy

New Science Policy aims to create knowledge, cultivate public discourse and foster policies that help society grapple with the immense power of science.

a new science policy framework
A New Science Policy Framework
  • Outcome-driven
  • Integrated
  • Informed
  • Self-correcting
  • Recognizes and responds to the inextricable links between science and technology and societal evolution
morality and science
Morality and Science

What is the collective good we want inquiry to promote?

Philip Kitcher, Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University