Scientists and World Order: The Uses of Technical Knowledge in International Organizations

By Ernst B. Haas; Mary Pat Williams | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
The Complexity of Cognitive Patterns

To speculate about possible links between knowledge and action is one thing; to demonstrate the existence of such links in the minds of the scientists involved in a program is another. In this chapter we present the basic evidence we obtained on the beliefs and expectations of internationally active scientists. We now describe our sample, present the rationale for the questions posed to our respondents, list the questions, and present the overall distribution of responses. We then go on to analyze whether or not the professional and role characteristics seem to explain some of' the patterns uncovered.


SAMPLE AND PROGRAMS

The authors conducted interviews with 146 individuals who are, or until recently had been, active in scientific programs of international organizations.1 The interviews took place between May 1973 and September 1974. In terms of professional affiliation, the group was composed as follows:

Physical scientists 35
Biological and medical scientists 39
Engineers, oceanographers 37
Social scientists, lawyers 22
Diplomats 13

The diplomats and social scientists all had responsibilities in programs involving the application of the natural sciences to some social objective. The diplomats, considered in terms of their professional training and education, were either lawyers or natural scientists, thus qualifying as experts for our purposes. In terms of organizational role, the group looked like this:

Advisers/consultants to intergovernmental organizations 31
Officials of intergovernmental organizations 75
Officials of nongovernmental organizations 14
Delegates to intergovernmental organizations 26

-61-

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