The material for this week is in some ways the culmination of the course, and serves to highlight the role of the Glassco framework as a consistent feature of science and technology policy in Canada.
Jasanoff (2004) describes the co-production of science and the social order, and we would expect that part of the consistent appeal of the Glassco framework as a vehicle for science and technology policy stems from the social structure of Canada, related both to political elites and to the dependent economic development Smardon describes. This returns us to Smardon’s interpretation of policy paralysis as a consequence (partly) of social antagonism between labour and capital (chapter 1).
Is it possible that the “Glassco framework” becomes in Smardon’s analysis a short-hand for “free-market approach” to investment and R&D? If this is the case, is there really any alternative, regardless of the shortcomings of private-sector investment? What would an alternative look like? (e.g. state-owned companies, crown corporations, bail-outs of companies like Bombardier through ownership of stock rather than interest-free taxpayer loans?
Moving on from Smardon’s fairly single-minded concentration on the Glassco framework and the shortfalls of the market in providing effective R&D to support Canadian growth, was the Harper government responsible for attacking scientific activity in government? Note the statement on behalf of the Minister for Science and Technology, the Hon. Ed Holder. Whether you accept the Ministers statement or the criticism, what is the common denominator with the Glassco framework?
Finally, in a globalizing economy, with increasing trade liberalization and international ownership of capital, what options are there for national support for R&D?
Reread the Smardon sections describing the Glassco Framework:
During the last years of the Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there was a mounting concern in some quarters about ideology interfering with good science. Some of this was partisan polemics, but other criticisms came from scientific and professional communities and cannot be as readily dismissed.
Complete required reading and prepare for seminar.
Participation evaluation for week 10 Concepts will consist of:
Questions and discussion