Politics and the science of science policy

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Politics and the Science of Science Policy By Harvey M. Sapolsky and Mark Zachary Taylor:

Politics and the Science of Science Policy By Harvey M. Sapolsky and Mark Zachary Taylor Subair K 5/6/2013 1

Presentation Plan:

Presentation Plan Introduction The politics of Innovation Getting Beyond Opposition Government Patronage of R & D Globalisation, Fragmentation and the role of Government Conclusion 5/6/2013 2

Introduction:

Introduction It deals with The politics of government patronage of research and development activities How political scientists theorize public support for, and opposition to, science and technology. The changing role of government in the face of globalisation Politics is the main obstacle to the development and application of a science of science policy (SoSP). 5/6/2013 3

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Innovation and the politics that underlie the process of bringing significant change to society. Innovation has costs and opponents among those who are to bear them. The advocates of SoSP might favor and much more ability to punch back politically. The opponents are not properly labeled the delayers of progress but the defenders of legitimate rights and interests. Globalisation is not decreasing the political dynamics but changing, along with the role of government in S&T policy 5/6/2013 4

The politics of Innovation:

The politics of Innovation Political scientists and Innovation Innovation as involving more than implementing simple change, which has significant impact on an org’s main tasks and personnel incentives ( James Q Wilson). Innovation threatens some groups and favors other. Schumpeter called innovation as “Creative Destruction”. Innovation may benefit society , but it has its victims and these victims fight back. Political resistance to technological change eg : Nuclear power, Stem cell research 5/6/2013 5

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Continue… To create a SoSP, to have an understanding of how politics can affect the design, passage and implementation of S&T policy. S & T change the power relations within a society by a variety of mechanism, any of which can trigger political action to obstruct them. Technological Innovation is economically distributive which allows to perform new activities or to perform established activities with increased efficiency New Technology completely change the factor inputs and resource for various economic activities. Technological change can alter the supply and demand conditions for inputs and resources, increasing the value of some relative to others 5/6/2013 6

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Continue… Technological Innovation creates winners and losers.. Who are these losers? Which losers will act to resist new technology? What determines the scope of resistance? Resistance is not simply a matter of lab or groups or technophobes but also be a strategy pursued by corporations, scientist or even the very interest groups an innovation to help. Innovation threatens change in the value system of both producers and adopters. Resistance to new technology can take on additional fervor due to the prior conflicts 5/6/2013 7

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Continue… Culture, Ideology and religion also interact with economic interests to encourage opposition to scientific research and technological change. The politics of distribution alone doesn’t determine national innovation rates. The more losers created by technological change, and deeper the losses, the more political resistance should occur, and the slower innovation rates should be. Policy makers need to address external security threats and domestic political pressures. Politicians to pack federal science advisory panels with experts loyal to particular economic interests or specific political ideology 5/6/2013 8

Getting Beyond Opposition:

Getting Beyond Opposition Innovation does occur, opposition can be overcome. Increase the capacity of an Org to generate innovative ideas by increasing the diversity of Org as measured in terms of the variety of different professions it employs. Diversity in terms of tasks and incentives increases organisational decentralization and makes decision making very slow and difficult. Decentralization, the complement of organisation task and incentive diversity, promotes the presentation of innovative ideas but frustrates the adoption of innovation. Centralization does the opposite. 5/6/2013 9

Government Patronage of R & D:

Government Patronage of R & D Politics is the process of setting priorities in the allocation of public resources and rarely involves a deep concern about consistency or scarcity. Science policy planners want to consider the resources available across govt in developing their research investment plan to gain societal benefits. Defense research Privatisation encouraged on a bipartisan basis since the end of the cold war and has created inflexible dependencies. Govt has lost much of its technical and management capabilities Spending on medical research is politically buttressed in several ways.. National health insurance 5/6/2013 10

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Continue… Medical research is viewed as the marker for quality, the marketing advantage of teaching hospitals with large specialty research and training programs. A third political impetus for medical research funding is the lobbying efforts of disease advocacy groups that seek special recognition and increased funding for work that appears focused on their affliction. Politicisation of science has a fourth front- often called regulatory science, the effort to ensure the safety and efficacy of products Regulatory science is problematic because it is often very difficult to describe the exposures and risks involved. Wide regulatory discretion that becomes politically palatable only through exaggeration or politicisation. 5/6/2013 11

Globalisation, Fragmentation and the role of Government:

Globalisation, Fragmentation and the role of Government Globalisation- free flow of goods, service, labor and capital. Political economist- globalisation has fundamentally altered the ways in which govt must approach S & T policy. Sociological approach- Power and Institution. Political Scientist focus on institutions with more formal structures than sociologist. Institutions that comprise a nation’s strategy for economic development. Globalisation has increased policy choices by fragmenting production process. 5/6/2013 12

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Continue… S & T have enabled globalisation, but politics and competition drive it. Globalisation is changing the role of Govt in S&T and is increasing, not diminishing or constraining its choices. Globalisation has radically transformed national approaches towards S&T by fragmenting industrial production. New product innovation are sourced globally, allowing firms and policymakers to choose which mode of innovation will provide them with the greatest competitive advantage. 5/6/2013 13

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Continue… Previous century, successful S&T policy meant one of two approaches For developing countries For lead innovators The key policy prescriptions were heavy S&T education, subsidized finance, reverse engineering, joint venture, technology licensing, FDI and export orientation. Policy strategy assumed an economy of vertically integrated industries producing a relatively stable set of products, located in the same country. In order to succeed at S&T, Govt in Developing Countries act more like management consultants. Lead innovating nations in the past century the keys to successful science and high-tech were either defense innovation or civilian national champions. 5/6/2013 14

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Continue… In the US, national security concerns motivated massive R&D investments, which laid the foundation for aircraft, software, satellite industries etc.. later realised commercial application. Tendencies toward pork-barrel politics, technological monopolies and national control of particular global S&T markets are threaten 20 th century policy strategies. Political scientist argued that to maintain nations at the technological frontier, policymakers must foster technological modularity. Modularity. Promoting modularity requires that policymakers focus on strengthening technological infrastructure and enhancing ubiquity of access. 5/6/2013 15

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Continue… US to have a high tech entrepreneurial society, policy makers need go beyond S&T policy and engineer broader political economic conditions. Policymaker must establish low barriers to entry and exit for firms. Institutions must reward high tech entrepreneurial activity and discourage non-productive entrepreneurship or rent seeking There must be incentives for the technological “winners” to keep innovating- low barrier to entry, openness to foreign competition, a competitive market system at home and strong anti-trust laws. Historical experience suggests that politicians and policymakers need to support an environment that blends larger firms and smaller entrepreneurial companies 5/6/2013 16

Conclusion:

Conclusion The efforts to implement S&T policies will be opposed by significant numbers of scientists and engineers who surely recognize that the decentralized, interest- driven, mission- based system that currently generates most of the funds for government- sponsored research in the United States is quite generous. While SOSP analysis may proceed quickly, the practical applications of a science of science policy may be slow to be adopted and at times stoutly opposed. 5/6/2013 17

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