Pasteur's Quadrant; Basic Science and Technological Innovation

Pasteur's Quadrant; Basic Science and Technological Innovation

by Donald E. Stokes
     
 

ISBN-10: 0815781776

ISBN-13: 9780815781776

Pub. Date: 09/01/1997

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

Over fifty years ago, Vannevar Bush released his enormously influential report, Science, the Endless Frontier, which asserted a dichotomy between basic and applied science. This view was at the core of the compact between government and science that led to the golden age of scientific research after World War II—a compact that is currently under severe stress.

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Overview

Over fifty years ago, Vannevar Bush released his enormously influential report, Science, the Endless Frontier, which asserted a dichotomy between basic and applied science. This view was at the core of the compact between government and science that led to the golden age of scientific research after World War II—a compact that is currently under severe stress. In this book, Donald Stokes challenges Bush's view and maintains that we can only rebuild the relationship between government and the scientific community when we understand what is wrong with that view.

Stokes begins with an analysis of the goals of understanding and use in scientific research. He recasts the widely accepted view of the tension between understanding and use, citing as a model case the fundamental yet use-inspired studies by which Louis Pasteur laid the foundations of microbiology a century ago. Pasteur worked in the era of the "second industrial revolution," when the relationship between basic science and technological change assumed its modern form. Over subsequent decades, technology has been increasingly science-based. But science has been increasingly technology-based—with the choice of problems and the conduct of research often inspired by societal needs. An example is the work of the quantum-effects physicists who are probing the phenomena revealed by the miniaturization of semiconductors from the time of the transistor's discovery after World War II.

On this revised, interactive view of science and technology, Stokes builds a convincing case that by recognizing the importance of use-inspired basic research we can frame a new compact between science and government. His conclusions have major implications for both the scientific and policy communities and will be of great interest to those in the broader public who are troubled by the current role of basic science in American democracy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815781776
Publisher:
Brookings Institution Press
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1Stating the Problem1
Forging the Postwar Paradigm2
The Concepts of Basic and Applied Research6
Static and Dynamic Forms of the Paradigm9
The Experience of Science12
Science and Technology18
Who Reaps the Technological Harvest from Science?23
A Paradox in the History of Ideas24
2The Rise of the Modern Paradigm26
The Ideal of Pure Inquiry in Classical Times27
The Ideal of the Control of Nature in Early Modern Science30
Institutionalizing the Separation of Pure from Applied in Europe34
Institutionalizing the Separation of Pure from Applied in America38
Reinforcing the Separation: American Science in the Aftermath of World War II45
The Reception of Bush's Plan50
3Transforming the Paradigm58
Early Dissents59
Official Reporting Categories64
Expanding the Dimensional Image70
Probing the Framework75
Rethinking the Dynamic Paradigm84
Implications for Policy89
4Renewing the Compact between Science and Government90
Collapse of the Postwar Bargain91
The Opening for Renewal96
Strengthening the Case for Pure Research99
Capturing the Benefit in Technology104
Institutionalizing a New Compact106
5Basic Science and American Democracy111
Recognizing Scientific Promise and Social Value at the Project Level113
Linking Scientific Promise to Social Value at the Wholesale Level121
Evaluating the NIH Model137
Linking Scientific Judgment with Political Authority142
Notes153
Index174

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