Measurement and Statistics on Science and Technology: 1920 to the Present

Measurement and Statistics on Science and Technology: 1920 to the Present

Measurement and Statistics on Science and Technology: 1920 to the Present

Measurement and Statistics on Science and Technology: 1920 to the Present

Synopsis

How do we objectively measure scientific activities? What proportion of economic activities should a society devote to research and development? How can public-sector and private-sector research best be directed to achieve social goals?Governments and researchers from industrial countries have been measuring science and technology for more than eighty years. This book provides the first comprehensive account of the attempts to measure science and technology activities in Western countries and the successes and shortcomings of statistical systems.Godin guides readers through the historical moments that led to the development of statistics on science and technology and also examines the socio-political dynamics behind social measurement.This enlightening account will be of interest to students and academics investigating science measurement as well as policy makers working in this burgeoning field.

Excerpt

If we take in our hand any volume of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance, let us ask: does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact or existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.

(D. Hume (1748), An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding) . . .

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