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Guide highlights science, technology and innovation studies

The European Commission, DG XII-G/4, has published "The European Guide to Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies" from the project funded by the Targeted Socio-economic Research Programme, TSER (Contract No. SOE1-CT97-1041).

This is the first European guide to science, t...
The European Commission, DG XII-G/4, has published "The European Guide to Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies" from the project funded by the Targeted Socio-economic Research Programme, TSER (Contract No. SOE1-CT97-1041).

This is the first European guide to science, technology, and innovation (STI) studies. It aims to facilitate public access to these relatively young specialities of academic and strategic research.

STI studies study the development of scientific knowledge, the process of technology creation, and the way these interact to innovate the economy and society as a whole. Because of this, the way they formulate the important questions about future social and economic developments and the answers they have provisionally given are relevant to a large number of people. Yet, many people who might profit from the knowledge developed in STI studies are unaware of these valuable sources. This is the main reason this guide has been written.

The results have also surprised the authors. This guide comprises more institutions than expected, and these are also more diverse than foreseen. Apparently, European society has become so complex that nobody has a clear overview. For example, academic institutions no longer have the monopoly on knowledge creation. The increasing specialization in science has moreover made it virtually impossible to know one's intellectual neighbours.

The guide ties together three different intellectual traditions:

- The sociology of science;
- The history of technology;
- Evolutionary economics.

As a result, this guide brings together centres and institutions as never before.

In general terms, the guide should be useful to anyone interested in knowledge creation, technology development, or innovation. The guide is especially meant for:

- Students who wish to complement their education in one of the sciences, social sciences, or humanities with one or more courses in STI studies;
- Journalists, public relations experts, or communication specialists who are confronted in their daily practice with the complex issues arising out of socio-technical innovation;
- Teachers and lecturers in secondary and tertiary education who either wish to update their knowledge about science, technology, or innovation, or who wish to acquire new teaching skills in these areas;
- Managers and decision makers in the private sector who need to develop knowledge-based strategies, or face the task of managing technology development or innovation processes, and therefore wish to update their capabilities;
- Policy makers in the public sector who are confronted by the complexities of policy development and risk management in European technological culture, and therefore wish to refresh their window on the world.

Source: European Commission, DG XII-G/4

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