Science and Technology

Can the Research Model Move Beyond its Dominant Patron? The Future of Support for Fundamental Research in US Universities, by Gwilym Croucher

Gwilym Croucher

The United States has been the leader in fundamental research for the last seven decades. Fundamental research is overwhelming undertaken in or in conjunction with research-intensive universities, and since the 1950s they have depended on US Federal funding to make this possible. This support has been consistently championed by Congress, is popular across the political spectrum and enjoys long public backing, in no small part because there remains a widespread trust in the societal benefits it provides. Yet the US now faces a dilemma over the future of this national achievement and the...

Science and the Entrepreneurial University, by Richard C. Atkinson

Richard C. Atkinson

The current and still-evolving role of the American research university has been shaped by four key developments in the past sixty-five years: the historic decision to establish a comprehensive postwar federal science policy, described in Vannevar Bush’s 1945 report, Science, The Endless Frontier; the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980; economic analyses from the 1950s onward that have validated the central role of knowledge in economic growth and influenced government and university policy on industry-university research; and various experiments with such research that have led to an increasing...

Universities, the US High Tech Advantage, and the Process of Globalization, by John Aubrey Douglass

John Aubrey Douglass

Research universities throughout the world are part of a larger effort by nation-states to bolster science and technological innovation and compete economically. The US remains highly competitive as a source of High Tech (HT) innovation because of a number of market positions, many the result of long term investments in institutions such as research universities and in R&D funding, and more broadly influenced by a political culture that has tended to support entrepreneurs and risk taking. In essence, the US was the first mover in pursuing the nexus of science and economic policy. The...

Science and Its Discontents: An Evolutionary Tale, by Donald Kennedy

Donald Kennedy

This paper analyzes the roots and implications of conflict between the conduct of science and government predilections in the United States, including the security state and neoconservative control of Washington. Three major conflicts are discussed: the emergence of new security and secrecy regimes that seek control of science; religiously derived moral viewpoints that seek to limit scientific research; and the purposeful shaping and censoring of scientific findings for political gain. All three policy issues, argues the author, have their roots in a growing public mistrust of...

The Trajectory of Chinese Doctoral Education and Scientific Research, by Wanhua Ma

Wanhua Ma

Dramatic enrollment expansion at the undergraduate level and institutional diversification are characteristics frequently used to describe major trends in China's massive higher education system. A less understood phenomenon is the relatively new and rapid establishment of graduate level programs that have implications for national economic development. As described in this study, beginning in the early 1980s, the Chinese government launched the first of a number of reforms meant to encourage the development of graduate programs and to change the face of China's higher education...

Research Universities: Core of the US Science and Technology System, by Richard C. Atkinson

Richard C. Atkinson

This paper traces the historical development of the American research and technology enterprise from its origins in the post-Civil War period to its current international dominance in the discovery and dissemination of scientific knowledge. U.S. research universities have become the vital center of this enterprise over the past 60 years. But competitors in Europe and Asia, many of them looking to the American research university as a model, are beginning to challenge U.S. leadership in science and technology. The paper analyzes the nature of this challenge and the problems research...