Pasteur's Quadrant Basic Science and Technological Innovation

Review :

"This situation was fundamentally altered from the time of the second industrial revolution, in two respects. One is that at least in selected areas, science was able to offer a good deal to technology, and this trend has accelerated in the twentieth century, with more and more technology that is science-based. But the other, complementary change, one that is much less widely recognized, is that developments in technology became a far more important source of the phenomena science undertook to explain. This was much more than a matter of instrumentation, which has loomed large in science at least since the time of Galileo. It was rather that many of the structures and processes that basic science explored were unveiled only by advances in technology; indeed, some cases existed only in the technology. Hence, more and more science has become technology derived." (20-21)

"Pasteur wanted to understand and to control the microbiological processes he discovered. Keynes wanted to understand and to improve the workings of modern economies. The physicists of the Manhattan Project wanted to understand and to harness nuclear fission. Langmuir wanted to understand and to exploit the surface physics of electronic components. The molecular biologists have wanted to understand and to alter the generic codes in DNA material." (79-80)


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