Science Technology and society

Topics: Science, Research, Government Pages: 9 (2011 words) Published: December 3, 2013
2. Science, technology, and society
Nearly all nations now recognize that science and technology are of vital importance to their development. Yet science and technology (S&T) cannot just be imported as commodities from foreign producers. For a country to enjoy the full benefit of science and technology, they must be deemed critical to the effort to achieve economic well-being and social justice, integrated into the societal decisionmaking structure, and systematically supported by policies that nurture the nation’s capacities and indigenous talent. Such interactions require the following:

• Policy for S&T: A national commitment, by the public and private sectors alike, to promote science and technology;
• S&T for policy: A mechanism for providing S&T inputs into decisionmaking; • Dissemination of knowledge: Procedures for broad public participation in critical issues, especially regarding their S&T aspects.

2.1 National S&T strategies identify priorities for
addressing critical needs

Innovation Program (PPKIP), Chinese
Academy of Sciences

The PPKIP is an ambitious 12-year project
(1998-2010) led by the Chinese Academy of
Sciences (CAS) to reform and revitalize China’s science and technology infrastructure. By 2005, the Chinese Academy of Science
plans to have:
• significantly enhanced scientific output in
fundamental research in strategic areas;
• increased the numbers of scientific
research personnel in multidisciplinary
and frontier areas;
• created new joint laboratories with universities;
• established long-term cooperative relationships with distinguished foreign universities, research institutions, and companies; • transformed 15-20 academy-affiliated research institutions into for-profit corporate entities;

• built high-tech incubators jointly with local
• introduced venture-capital mechanisms
through creation of CAS-managed venturecapital funds; and
• sold shares of Chinese Academy’s companies in stock markets, both at home and abroad, thus attracting capital for the rapid
development of high-tech enterprises.

IAC Report | Science, technology, and society



Many of the recommendations in Chapters 3 through 6 that follow can be seen as parts of national policies for the promotion of science and technology. Recommendations on human-resource development,

institution-building for science and technology, establishing new modes of cooperation for the private and public domains, and the generation of new funding mechanisms will all require support from a nation’s leaders, both in and out of government. There is a need to provide a coherent framework for these actions. In each nation, a national S&T strategy should be developed by the government in consultation with scientific, engineering, and medical academies; the professional societies of the country; and its industrial sector. The strategy should benefit from the experiences of other countries, and it should spell out the government’s commitments to funding; standards of excellence; openness and dissemination of knowledge; regional consortia and networks; private-public interactions; and partnerships with others – locally, regionally, and globally. (See Box 10 for a description of an ambitious strategy in China to upgrade its S&T enterprise.) The practice of science in particular cannot be undertaken without a profound adherence to what has been called the values of science – a commitment to truth and honor, a certain constructive dissent among scientists, and the arbitration of disputes through rigorous methods.

BOX 10 Pilot Project of the Knowledge

But science is seldom left only to the scientists. Research-agenda priorities derive not just from the wishes of scientists or their interest in certain problems but also from factors such as national needs, the availability of funding, access to tools of research, and the commercial prospects for deploying the resulting technologies....
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