Scientific FreedomThe Elixir of Civilization
Scientific Freedom outlines what needs to be done to restore the freedom that can transform scientific understanding. The author defines Transformative Research (Venture Research) and explains how an initiative might be designed and implemented; discusses the revolutionary concept of low-risk, high-reward research; explains the wider significance of instability, and introduces the formidable Damocles Zone; explores threats to the university as an institution; and describes how a Transformative Research initiative might work in practice.
List of Posters. Preface. Introduction. Chapter 1. The Damocles Zone. Chapter 2. Scientific Freedom and Transformative research. Chapter 3. Mismanagement by Objectives: The Need for Fresh Approaches. Chapter 4. Searching for Planck's Successors. Chapter 5. Universities for the Twenty-First century: the Case for a Fifth Revolution. Chapter 6. Venture (or Transformative) Research: How IT Works in Practice. Chapter 7. The Venture Research Harvest. Bibliography. Index.
"The real value of the book is that it shows that unconstrained funding can really work and it tells us how." (ChemBioChem, November 2008) "Braben does an excellent job of highlighting the need to reassess the selection criteria used to decide what scientific projects receive funding. The arguments provided throughout the volume's seven chapters are compelling, and although the book discusses issues in various scientific disciplines in some detail, it is accessible even to those who lack expertise in a given field. This volume is highly recommended for anyone with a general interest in the history of science or the current state of scientific research." (Quarterly Review of Biology, December 2008) "Braben’s bold thinking examines a problem that for too long has been largely ignored and gives a timely warning." (Chemistry World, September 2008) "Scientific Freedom is a timely, eye-opening book on the current state of scientific research." (SirReadaLot.org, February 22, 2008
Donald W. Braben, PhD, is founder and Chief Executive of Venture Research International Ltd., and Visiting Professor at University College London. Dr. Braben spent sixteen years in nuclear structure and high-energy physics research and also held positions at the Cabinet Office in Whitehall, the Science Research Council in London, and the Bank of England. He is also the author of Pioneering Research: A Risk Worth Taking (Wiley) and To Be a Scientist.
A timely, eye-opening book on the current state of scientific research Scientific progress comes in a vast number of ways, ranging from the apparently spontaneous comprehension of a new way of looking at the universe as typified by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, to the prolonged and often agonizing study of a perplexing phenomenon as typified by Max Planck's work that led to the discovery of energy quantization. Until about 1970, such scientists were free—and endorsed by the scientific community—to discover the breakthroughs that have shaped the modern world. But subsequent policy changes are making it almost impossible for their successors to follow in their footsteps. Consequently, economic growth and our future prosperity are now in serious jeopardy. Scientific Freedom outlines what needs to be done to restore the freedom that can transform scientific understanding. The author: Defines Transformative Research (Venture Research) and explains how an initiative might be designed and implemented, how it might be supported on a national scale, and why it is vital to everyone that such initiatives are launched as soon as possible Discusses the revolutionary concept of low-risk, high-reward research Explains the wider significance of instability, and introduces the formidable Damocles Zone Explores threats to the university as an institution Describes how a Transformative Research initiative might work in practice Complete with scientific proposals and commentaries provided in stand-alone boxes, Scientific Freedom extends the debate to anyone who has a serious interest in global affairs—industrialists, academics, legislators, and consumers—and offers an inspiring analysis of how scientific freedom affects and, ultimately, preserves the very foundations of our civilization.
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