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The Changing Political Economy of Research & Innovation: Crisis, Globalization & Systems Transition

Date: 15 October 2012 Time: Start 9.00 am

Venue: FASS Building MR2/3

Science' is increasingly tasked with kick-starting the moribund economy, underpinning a new techno-economic paradigm, while also tackling multiple, overlapping global challenges, such as climate change or food security. But the cultural and political role of science and the political economy of its funding are currently in a state of unprecedented upheaval. What science can and does contribute to economic growth and global challenges, however, is not clearly understood; and, conversely, it is clear that the current dominant policy understanding of these relations is inadequate.

In these circumstances, there is an urgent need, both social and academic, for a new and revitalized study of the 'economics' of science - or rather, a political economy of research and innovation (PERI). This workshop brings together a number of leading researchers from a wide array of disciplines who are producing a growing body of literature on these issues. The aim is to stimulate discussion across the diverse range of issues relating to this theme and thus build a strong network of researchers in order to establish a high-profile and international programme of PERI research.

The workshop focuses on five substantive issues that are emerging as key, but as yet under-researched, fields of enquiry for a political economy of research and innovation:

A. Science and neoliberalism (and after?)

B. The construction of a new 'knowledge economy' accumulation regime

C. Sciences and global challenges

D. New 'rising powers' and the changing economic geography of science

E. Changing academic disciplines - economics, policy studies, etc…

Keynote address (11.30 Monday 15th):

The biopolitics of biosphere complexity: Neoliberal vs. cyborg markets

Professor Philip Mirowski (Notre Dame)

Author of ScienceMartTM (2011, Harvard), The Effortless Economy of Science (2004, Duke) and editor of seminal collection Science Bought and Sold (2002, Chicago).

Invited speakers:

Professor John Holmwood (Nottingham) on 'Knowledge regimes, public higher education and the future of the social sciences'

Professor James Wilsdon (SPRU, Sussex; formerly Director of the International Science Policy Unit of The Royal Society) on 'Science as an open enterprise? The multiple interpretations of openness in science & innovation policy '

Dr Paul Nightingale (SPRU, Sussex) on 'How should science be funded? Re-evaluating the role of the state'


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Sociology


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