Economics at your fingertips  

Science, technology and innovation studies at a crossroad: SPRU as case study

Luc Soete

Research Policy, 2019, vol. 48, issue 4, 849-857

Abstract: The setting up of the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University 50 years ago represented a “transformative change” in the research on science policy and the understanding of the nature and origin of technological change and innovation studies. It influenced policymakers across the world in both the mature Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries and the developing world. It made the topic of science, technology and innovation (STI) familiar to business studies scholars. Today though, the analysis of STI appears to be somewhat in crisis. On the one hand, there is growing evidence that the growth and welfare gains of new technologies and innovation are no longer forthcoming in an automatic “trickle-down” fashion. The knowledge and technology diffusion “machine” appears broken. On the other hand, there are growing environmental concerns about the negative externalities of unsustainable fossil-fuel-based growth as industrialization spreads across the globe. STI policy appears somehow stuck in an industrial efficiency and consumerism mode that is unable to address in a satisfactory way the impact of such negative externalities. Can the broader historical approach as popularized within the so-called Science and Technology Studies (STS) tradition provide additional, complementary insights? Yes, if STI and STS scholars are prepared to leave their respective conceptual comfort zones and address in complementary fashion some of the major societal policy challenges confronting science, technology and innovation policy today.

Keywords: Science policy; Technology and innovation studies; Technology diffusion; Societal challenges; Green growth; Technological unemployment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.10.029

Access Statistics for this article

Research Policy is currently edited by M. Bell, B. Martin, W.E. Steinmueller, A. Arora, M. Callon, M. Kenney, S. Kuhlmann, Keun Lee and F. Murray

More articles in Research Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2021-10-16
Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:48:y:2019:i:4:p:849-857