This course provides a comprehensive overview of policy issues related to the support, use, management, and regulation of science and technology. It addresses both domestic and international issues, is concerned with governmental policies and non-governmental decisions, and focuses on both the economics and politics of science and technology issues.
In today’s world, scientific discoveries and technological innovations influence almost every aspect of human existence. Many changes induced by these innovations have been extremely positive, bringing advancements in health, communications, material wealth, and quality of life. Simultaneously, science and technology have helped create apparently intractable problems, including new risks to human health, environmental pollution, and the existence of weapons capable of mass destruction. Given these impacts, making effective and fair choices regarding technological issues is one of the most challenging tasks of modern governance.
Policy-making for international economic competition is increasingly defined in terms of technological competence. The diffusion of centers of technological excellence worldwide and the progressive convergence of local markets based on consumer tastes and preferences have obliged actors to adopt a more global outlook: not only do firms compete internationally, but they also depend on each other’s strengths to stay afloat. This course will examine several important characteristics of the international context relating to the technological competence of firms and nations.