Situated along the line that divides the rich ecologies of Asia and Australia, the Indonesian archipelago is a hotbed for scientific exploration, and scientists from around the world have made key discoveries there. But why do the names of Indonesia’s own scientists rarely appear in the annals of scientific history? In The Floracrats Andrew Goss examines the professional lives of Indonesian naturalists and biologists, to show what happens to science when a powerful state becomes its greatest, and indeed only, patron.
With only one purse to pay for research, Indonesia’s scientists followed a state agenda focused mainly on exploiting the country’s most valuable natural resources—above all its major export crops: quinine, sugar, coffee, tea, rubber, and indigo. The result was a class of botanic bureaucrats that Goss dubs the “floracrats.” Drawing on archives and oral histories, he shows how these scientists strove for the Enlightenment ideal of objective, universal, and useful knowledge, even as they betrayed that ideal by failing to share scientific knowledge with the general public. With each chapter, Goss details the phases of power and the personalities in Indonesia that have struggled with this dilemma, from the early colonial era, through independence, to the modern Indonesian state. Goss shows just how limiting dependence on an all-powerful state can be for a scientific community, no matter how idealistic its individual scientists may be.
Over the past thirty years, the government has spent approximately $1.5 billion on the Regional Educational Laboratories and $1.1 billion on the Research and Development Centers. After this large investment, these two research facilities still have been unable to find the best way to effectively help at-risk children thrive in school. Many people are slowly realizing that, unfortunately, our sizable investment in educational research and development has not been sufficient to produce the kind of information that policymakers and educators must have if they hope to meet the needs of these at-risk children.
Maris A. Vinovskis uses the research he has done over the past decade, along with the findings of other policymakers, to argue that the American public school system needs to gain functional reform if research institutions are to conduct more effective studies for policymakers. He examines here both recent reform policies as well as the history behind educational reform.
Vinovskis's vigorous investigation of the process of educational research and development in the United States will be of particular interest to individuals whose careers depend on continued federal funding. This book will also appeal to educators, policymakers, and public policy analysts and will be of unequaled value in understanding the formulation of new educational policies in the twenty-first century.
Maris A. Vinovskis is active on Capitol Hill and lectures throughout the country at such prestigious institutions as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Brookings Institution, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is Professor of History, University of Michigan.
In recent years the news media have been awash in stories about increasingly close ties between college campuses and multimillion-dollar corporations. Our nation’s universities, the story goes, reap enormous windfalls patenting products of scientific research that have been primarily funded by taxpayers. Meanwhile, hoping for new streams of revenue from their innovations, the same universities are allowing their research—and their very principles—to become compromised by quests for profit. But is that really the case? Is money really hopelessly corrupting science?
With Science for Sale, acclaimed journalist Daniel S. Greenberg reveals that campus capitalism is more complicated—and less profitable—than media reports would suggest. While universities seek out corporate funding, news stories rarely note that those industry dollars are dwarfed by government support and other funds. Also, while many universities have set up technology transfer offices to pursue profits through patents, many of those offices have been financial busts. Meanwhile, science is showing signs of providing its own solutions, as highly publicized misdeeds in pursuit of profits have provoked promising countermeasures within the field.
But just because the threat is overhyped, Greenberg argues, doesn’t mean that there’s no danger. From research that has shifted overseas so corporations can avoid regulations to conflicts of interest in scientific publishing, the temptations of money will always be a threat, and they can only be countered through the vigilance of scientists, the press, and the public.
Based on extensive, candid interviews with scientists and administrators, Science for Sale will be indispensable to anyone who cares about the future of scientific research.
Each year, Congress appropriates billions of dollars for scientific research. In this book, veteran science reporter Daniel S. Greenberg takes us behind closed doors to show us who gets it, and why. What he reveals is startling: an overlooked world of false claims, pork, and cronyism, where science, money, and politics all manipulate one another.