Dialogues at the interface: an introduction
It is trite to state that science and technology (S&T) are a necessary condition for economic development. It would be more relevant to ask the question: how are S&T policies linked with development policies? What have we learned from the many lessons, so that effective policy experimentation can take place?
This is one of the key issues in current debates around science and technology for development. As argued in the report of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Science, Technology and Innovation, there is an urgent need for policy experimentation to stimulate learning in developing countries. The international community set itself the Millennium Development Goal (8, target 18) to ‘make available the benefits of new technologies’. If it is serious about achieving this target, the report argues, new avenues of policy learning will need to be opened up and changes in traditional social relationships will need to be made.
This book is about those changing social relationships. The authors focus on the question of what social relations make for successful science and technology policies. In particular, the various chapters illustrate what happens at different social interfaces, such as between policy makers and researchers, and between the users and producers of knowledge. In other words, they are interested in the knowledge networks that are emerging between the many different actors involved in the development of science and technology.