Recently i had attended a symposium on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy where the EU Commissionaire on Science and Technology spoke. One of the startling things to note was the intellectual transition from the paradigm of ‘Research and Development’ to ‘Research, Innovation and Enterprise’. That the role of knowledge creation is towards job creation and monetary ends. Everything in the scientific en devour is for the knowledge economy. The best scientific minds it seems will shift globally for research funding and the correct innovation ecosystem. As Marx said, a man’s labor is for capital accumulation. seems fit in this regard.
Science is a game changing social institution, there is no two ways about that. Scientific talent have changed society for the better mostly. Apart from Nuclear Technology which has a potential for destruction is also a source for energy independence from Oil. The question which came to my mind is, where is the patience for fundamental scientific research if every piece of intellectual property is geared towards capital generation. Core fundamental scientific research takes a long time to be of any use in a commercial form. The market does not have the time for such experimentation. Not all research is as easy as creating an i phone app, quantum physics to cancer biology research; things take time. We have been sold the story about the IT phenomenon, but innovation has a price and real innovation needs persistence. Good Science takes time.
Every technology has a unique epistemology which is followed. Core Science research cannot be open source totally. The main element which i find lacking in the current innovation discourse is the missing social centric approach. Application of Science towards developmental needs is critical. It is about time, that Innovation planners account for what kind of scientific solutions which communities shall require in the upcoming decades. Market is excellent when it comes towards disseminating a technology, not when it comes to a breakthrough. Defense Research created the Internet, Nuclear Energy came from the Manhattan Project; Its time to be Social Constructionist in Nature not Technologically Deterministic. A radical rethink is indeed required.