(2002, NS 123)
Tore Frängsmyr, Karl Grandin, Håkan Håkansson, Svante Lindqvist, Anders Lundgren and Sven Widmalm
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm
Twenty-four lecturers from several continents participated in the symposium along with some 20 observers, mainly younger researchers from Sweden.
Since the beginning of the scientific revolution, people have spoken of the benefits of science, whether in the context of the science academies of the 17th and 18th centuries, the research universities of the 19th century or the research policy of the 20th century. The "linear model" summarizes a common point of view during this period: first comes basic research, then technical development and later industrial exploitation and economic growth. This model is a well-established self-image in the traditional university system, where researchers train experts who will be in charge of economic and technical development.
Natural science, technology and industry obviously have something to do with each other, but today the linear model is regarded as misleading. A number of other approaches have emerged in such disciplines as history of science and technology, business administration and political science.
The symposium brought together leading researchers in these fields for three days of discussions on how the relationship between science, technology and industry should be understood, historically but also in our own era. The discussion was intensive at times, and the event was highly appreciated by all participants.