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The uncertain quest: science, technology, and development

Table of contents


Edited by

Jean-Jacques Salomon,
Francisco R. Sagasti, and
Céline Sachs-Jeantet

United Nations University Press

© The United Nations University, 1994

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations University.

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The United Nations University is an organ of the United Nations established by the General Assembly in 1972 to be an international community of scholars engaged in research, advanced training, and the dissemination of knowledge related to the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. Its activities focus mainly on peace and conflict resolution, development in a changing world, and science and technology in relation to human welfare. The University operates through a worldwide network of research and postgraduate training centres, with its planning and coordinating headquarters in Tokyo, Japan


Note to the reader from the UNU




Introduction: From tradition to modernity

The importance of science and technology
Science, technology, and society
The institutional and policy requirements
The new international context
Modernity and the uncertain quest

Part 1: Science, technology, and development

1 Modern science and technology

The emergence of modern science
The expansion of modern science and technology
Cultures and coexistence of rationalities

2 The story of development thinking

Pioneers in development
The discipline develops
The centre and the periphery
Questioning and crises

3 Measuring science, technology, and innovation

The growing need for R&D and innovation indicators
From macro-phenomena to innovation processes
Towards a worldwide standard for R&D surveys
Quantitative descriptions and qualitative assessments
The overall scope of R&D statistics among developing countries
Has R&D spending by developing countries increased?
In which regions are the world's R&D resources concentrated?
Science, technology, and new economic patterns
Innovation indicators in the making
The "second-generation" statistical manuals

Part 2: From history to current challenges

4 Western science in perspective and the search for alternatives

What is Western science?
The critiques
The search for alternatives
The example of India
The significance of the alternatives

5 The institutionalization process

The Pandora's box of "colonial science"
Strategies and styles of the major powers
Cultural responses to Western learning
The disciplines and institutions of colonial science
Institutional growth in the moulds of "national science"
The role of government science policy
The interface between higher education and research capabilities
Concluding remarks

6 The behaviour of scientists and scientific communities

The scientific communities in developing countries

Scientific community: A concept open to challenge
The widening gap and the need for a revised typology
National scientific communities and styles of science

The origins, behaviours, and conditions of scientists

Higher education and research training
Brain drain and brain gain
Research scientists in search of statutes and status
Choosing research topics and practicing research

Scientific production: Not very visible

The place of third world science in mainstream science
Mainstream science and local science: A needed revision

Concluding remarks


7 Technology, economics, and late industrialization

Lights and shadows of conventional neoclassical growth theory
Alternative theoretical routes
Import substitution industrialization in the 1960s and 1970s
The 1980s: Towards a new socio-economic and technological scenario
Concluding remarks

8 Technological capabilities

Firm-level technological capabilities (FTC)
National technological capabilities
National technological capabilities: Some evidence from developing countries
Conclusions and implications

9 The environmental challenge

The first debate on environment and development
Slow progress towards ecologically and environmentally friendly development
Signposts for the future
Concluding remarks: Disentangling Prometheus

Part 3: The policy dimension

10 Science and technology policy

Science and technology policy: Rationale and issues
Instruments for science and technology policy
The implications of trade policy
Experiences and approaches in the third world
The United Nations system
The knowledge base for STP
Conclusion: Key contemporary issues for STP

11 Technology transfer and diffusion

Elements and mechanisms of technology transfer
Historical background
The technology market
Towards a revised framework
Concluding remarks

12 Technology choice and development

The 1950s and 1960s: Growth, investment allocation, and technology choice

The 1970s: Technology, employment, and basic needs

Appropriate technology
Appropriate products
Technology and employment

The 1980s: Macro issues, new technologies, and capabilities

Macroeconomic aspects of technology choice
New technologies and blending
Technological capabilities

Prospects for the 1990s


13 New technologies: Opportunities and threats

Information technology
New and advanced materials

14 Technology assessment

Historical background

The methodology and its critics

A typology of technology assessment and policy analysis

Stakeholder participation in technology assessment

Concluding remarks


Conclusion: Perspectives for the future

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