There is a paradox of European innovation–namely, the discrepancy between Europe’s great scientific capacities and its relatively feeble technological performance overall. European countries have difficulty adjusting their scientific research to meet emerging social demands and economic opportunities. Demands in health, education, the environment, and the need to keep their industries technologically competitive are at stake.
Under what conditions will scientific research produce knowledge that is apt to meet social needs? How fast can scientific research in the European Union adapt to the new economic configurations and stimulate industrial innovation for greater competitiveness? Can member states overcome their diversity and find a path towards genuine cooperation, including in such fields as defense? But who has the authority to set up research agendas? How might the accountability of scientists be increased? When and how can citizens be involved in the shaping of future technologies? What are the respective roles of regions, national governments and the European Commission in the shaping of the European research system on the 21st century?
Such crucial questions are addressed by prominent European specialists in science and technology policy. They examine the diverse facets of scientific research and innovation systems and their relationships with society and the economy, both at national and European levels, in view of the challenges ahead.
This book is essential reading for all those interested in the coming debates on the future of European scientific research and its role in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.
Rémi Barré is director of Observatoire des Sciences et des Techniques (France). Michael Gibbons is Secretary General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Sir John Maddox is former editor of Nature. Ben Martin is director of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex (United Kingdom). Pierre Papon is a professor at Ecole de Physique et Chimie de Paris and Chairman of the Board of Observatoire des Sciences et des Techniques (France).