Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation

Front Cover
Brookings Institution Press, Mar 1, 2011 - Science - 196 pages

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.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

good one should read sometime ..its about making the eco system for innovations.... said int the talk givn by scientist p balram at iisc banglr at 19th nov 2009

Selected pages

Contents

Stating the Problem
1
Forging the Postwar Paradigm
2
The Concepts of Basic and Applied Research
6
Static and Dynamic Forms of the Paradigm
9
The Experience of Science
12
Science and Technology
18
Who Reaps the Technological Harvest from Science?
23
A Paradox in the History of Ideas
24
Expanding the Dimensional Image
70
Probing the Framework
75
Rethinking the Dynamic Paradigm
84
Implications for Policy
89
Renewing the Compact between Science and Government
90
Collapse of the Postwar Bargain
91
The Opening for Renewal
96
Strengthening the Case for Pure Research
99

The Rise of the Modern Paradigm
26
The Ideal of Pure Inquiry in Classical Times
27
The Ideal of the Control of Nature in Early Modern Science
30
Institutionalizing the Separation of Pure from Applied in Europe
34
Institutionalizing the Separation of Pure from Applied in America
38
American Science in the Aftermath of World War II
45
The Reception of Bushs Plan
50
Transforming the Paradigm
58
Early Dissents
59
Official Reporting Categories
64
Capturing the Benefit in Technology
104
Institutionalizing a New Compact
106
Basic Science and American Democracy
111
Recognizing Scientific Promise and Social Value at the Project Level
113
Linking Scientific Promise to Social Value at the Wholesale Level
121
Evaluating the NIH Model
137
Linking Scientific Judgment with Political Authority
142
Notes
153
Index
174
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page v - ... him in confidence on the quality of the work. Publication of a work signifies that it is deemed a competent treatment worthy of public consideration but does not imply endorsement of conclusions or recommendations.

About the author (2011)

Donald E. Stokes was professor of politics and public affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Bibliographic information