Phase Transition in Korea-U.S. Science and Technology Relations

By Caroline Wagner; Anny Wong et al. | Go to book overview

1.
Introduction: Korean-U.S. S&T
Cooperation in Context

Over the past decade, three significant shifts have changed the context of the science and technology (S&T) relationship between Korea and the United States. One is specific to the relationship: Korea has emerged into the global community as a scientifically advanced country, changing the dynamic between the two partners, putting them on a more equal footing. The second is a broader shift affecting both countries: Information and communications technologies, ease of travel, and enhanced global capacity have greatly increased the scale, scope, and network of international linkages in S&T. The third is the increased attention to global problems and issues that require input from the S&T community, including global climate change, demographic shifts, and infectious disease prevention.

The bilateral S&T policies between Korea and the United States were forged in circumstances where Korea was a “junior” partner in science, where the motivating factor for cooperation was as much political as it was scientific, and where the international network was not the dominant superstructure for science. Given the shifts in the operating environment, a critical examination of the Korean-U.S. S&T relationship stands to benefit both countries. Issues such as the potential for continued growth of the bilateral relationship, reorganization of existing programs, new areas for research emphasis, and joint outreach to third parties are points for consideration. In order to inform this review, this report describes the current S&T relationship between the Republic of Korea (Korea) and the United States. It presents information about how the two countries could enhance the S&T relationship, as well as ways in which the two countries could work together to seek additional partners. It also discusses policy options that might be profitably considered by both governments.

This report has four sections. Following this introduction, which seeks to place the Korean-U.S. relationship within the global context and present data about the relationship, Section 2 describes the institutional structures within the U.S. government and within the Korean government that support international S&T cooperation. Section 3 discusses the views of scientists participating in KoreanU.S. international collaborations. Section 4 presents analysis of opportunities for enhanced cooperation between the two parties within four modes of cooperation, as well as conclusions, policy recommendations, and suggestions for future

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