• The European Guide to Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies

      Wouters, Paul; Annerstedt, Jan; Leydesdorff, Loet (1998)
      This is the first European guide to science, technology, and innovation (STI) studies. It aims to facilitate public access to these relatively young specialties 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. On top of this, the guide ties together three different intellectual traditions: the sociology of science, the history of technology, and evolutionary economics. As a result, this guide brings together centres and institutions that never were on one podium 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. The guide consists of three chapters: 1. The first chapter gives a general introduction to the topics in STI studies. This should give the reader a quick overview and a bit of the flavour of the field. The second part of this chapter is divided in different sections meant for the different target audiences: * students, * communicators, * teachers, * managers, * decision-makers. 2. The second chapter is the main body of the guide, and gives practical information about the institutions, arranged on a per country basis. The information is based on documentation provided by the institutions themselves. The first type of entries give the institutional address, phone numbers, and WWW and Email addresses; the second type of entries describe the general profile of the institution; and the third type of entries give detailed course information. 3. The third chapter gives a topical entry to the STI studies in this guide. To give the reader a feel of the different types of approach in the STI centres in Europe, the chapter provides a tentative overview of the most important topics, without pretending to be complete. In each topical section, one project is described in more detail. This should give the reader more in-depth information than would be possible by a listing of all projects relevant to the topic. Yet, it often means a rather arbitrary choice among many equally interesting projects. Therefore, each section is ended by a index of European STI centres which are actively engaged with the topic involved. Effectively, this third chapter is a topical index to practical information in the guide. Taken together, the three chapters should facilitate searching through this guide to European STI centres both an a per country basis, and per topical interest. If one is mostly interested in studying in a certain region, chapter 2 can be used as the main entry into the guide. If on the contrary a certain topic is the perspective regardless of where the STI centres are located, chapter 3 is the best starting point. As will be clear upon reading, the information about the different institutions is very diverse. This is not a coincidence, nor only a practical matter. To be sure, the fact that this guide is the first of its kind certainly contributes to a rather varying format of presentation. But more important is the nature of science, technology, and innovation studies. It is a quite heterogenous field of studies, coming from diverse academic and policy related traditions. The object of study is moreover itself heterogenous, due to the complex nature of present-day European society. We have chosen not to try to reduce this variety for the sake of a more coherent presentation. We think on the contrary that the variety in the way the institutions are represented may itself be an additional source of relevant and useful information. Practical information such as telephone numbers and course data tend to have a high turnover rate. This is the reason this guide has been published both in printed form and as a World Wide Web document. The WWW-version contains recently updated information. This is the first time a guide like this on STI studies has been published. Although we have done our utmost best to collect as much information as possible, we are certain that some institutions may have been missed. This is, unfortunately, inevitable in a first-time experiment. (Size of guide: 246 pages approx.).