Science Policy-Making that Meets Social Challenges and Motivates Scientists

Saturday, 15 February 2014: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Water Tower (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Facing current global economic conditions, the science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy of many countries increasingly focuses on the contribution of research and development (R&D) outcomes to address various societal issues. A central consideration is how to link scientific research to innovation and economic growth, and some issue-driven R&D strategies are already being examined. This new emphasis highlights some major problems that do not arise with traditional discipline-driven R&D, e.g., immaturity in the methodology used to identify societal issues, to make national STI policies, and to develop R&D strategy through a rational and objective process. Moreover, there is a concern about the autonomy of scientific research. If R&D themes are identified and transferred to researchers as a top-down policy by decision-makers, the motivation for research might be diminished. The importance of scientists’ normative conduct also needs to be considered, especially for those who work on complex and uncertain issues that might involve political decision-making. This session presents an overview of the status of issue-driven R&D strategy and shares experiences in policy formation. The discussion will include aspects such as possible measures to foster scientists’ sense of commitment in meeting social challenges, how to provide promising career paths for able young scientists, and ways to integrate bottom-up research themes raised by researchers themselves.
Tateo Arimoto, National Graduate School for Policy Studies
Chikako Maeda, Japan Science and Technology Agency
Vaughan Turekian, AAAS
Nobuhide Kasagi, Japan Science and Technology Agency
Designing Scientific Research for Societal Challenges: Recent Progress
Jan Staman, Rathenau Institute
Academic Transition Towards Issue Driven R & D
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