In his speech of 20 January 1947 before the US Congress, President Truman called the masses of the inhabitants of the planet `underdeveloped.' Greater production was the key to the prosperity in which S&T played a pivotal role. Call for transfer of technical assistance and technologies of all sorts from North to South was clear and loud. This process received another boost when John F. Kennedy, in 1961, called for finance of the `Alliance for Progress.' `Throughout the Latin America,' he claimed, `millions of people are struggling to free themselves from the bands of poverty, hunger, and ignorance.' `They see,' he continued, `the abundance which modern science can bring. They know the tools of progress are within their reach.'
The decades following these speeches witnessed a flourishing of countless programs of aid and assistance for South. Programs consisting of technical assistance, transfer of technology, credits, and alike.
After four decades, however, poverty and hunger are still persistent in the `underdeveloped' countries. Some experts in the field in fact claim that the condition of the people in the underdeveloped world is much more unfavorable than it was four decades ago.
This failure of the past 40 years of programs following the vision of Truman and Kennedy, of attempts at modernization of South to eliminate poverty and hunger has alerted both theoreticians and practitioners in this field. In an attempt to explain this failure, topics of appropriate technology, participatory programs, sustainable development and such have been formulated and widely discussed.
The perplexity of this endeavour is now clear. We have learned that Science and Technology alone will fail miserably in achieving its often assumed purpose---well-being of humanity.
Any attempt in understanding the intricacies of Science and Technology (S&T) for the Developing Countries requires familiarization with a wide range of issues. The field is notorious for its multi-disciplinary requirement. At the broadest level these issues can be categorized as the following:
To the above list one needs to add social aspects of Science and Technology as well:
One cannot escape the giant of "policy" in this discussion. A national policy for R&D and S&T would be an integral part of an infrastructure of a nation. In this area some topics will have to be addressed. One topic would be the question of "indicators." A great deal of research and literature try to identify and give meanings to a list of S&T indicators both nationally and internationally. Another topic would be that of "priority." Countries have to decide on the allocation of limited and often scarce resources. Yet another topic would be "policy instruments." Policy being a statement of wish, it requires instruments for its implementation.
An understanding of national and regional political-economy of Latin America is certainly an asset. S&T has come to play a central role in national economy. It is also claiming an increasing ground in the political arena.
Covering this entire range in detail is however out of the scope of this bibliography. In this document a selected number of these issues is being addressed. The intention in this first version of this bibliography is to provide a starting point for those interested on the issues of Science and Technology for Latin American counties. As a central theme to my graduate research this document will be continuously revised in the next couple of years. The revisions will be geared around covering the entire range of areas mentioned here (and also including those that are currently missing), and providing a more balanced material covering the issues.
The following is the headings under which this bibliography is prepared. Often titles under one heading also contain material related to other headings. Each heading groups a number of issues mentioned above. The order in which the headings is presented reflects the sequence of learnings that the author deems appropriate for those wishing to enter this field of enquiry, namely S&T for developing countries.
Science, as portrayed in textbooks, starts with definitions, lays out the ground rules and its method, poses questions, carries on an objective observation of the nature, and makes rational conclusions based on accumulated knowledge and the new facts. How true is this image of science?
Read all about normal science, scientific paradigm, scientific revolution, and more in this monumental work.
...[T]he aim of such books [textbooks] is persuasive and pedagogic; a concept of science drawn from them is no more likely to fit the enterprise that produced them than an image of a national culture drawn from a tourist brochure or language text.
Kuhn observes that science does not follow the straight path of development according to accumulation of knowledge. Rather, science, Kuhn suggests, advances by the way of anomalies, uncertainties, chaos, and revolutions, resulting in a new way of viewing the universe.
Sometimes a normal problem, one that ought to be solvable by known rules and procedures, resist the reiterated onslaught of the ablest member of the group within whose competence it falls.... In these and other ways besides, normal science repeatedly goes astray. And when it does---when, that is, the profession can no longer evade anomalies that subvert the existing tradition of scientific practice---then begin the extraordinary investigations that lead the profession at last to a new set of commitments, anew basis for the practice of science. The extraordinary episodes in which that shift of professional commitments occurs are the ones known in this essay as scientific revolution. They are tradition-shattering...
Examining our daily lives, one quickly realizes the extent to which the modern society depends on the results of scientific research. Research, however, is becoming an increasingly expensive enterprise. Nevertheless, science is very important and its high cost is causing the increased involvement of State in policies regarding its development. "Accordingly, the progress of science becomes a matter of politics."
...[T]he understanding and control of the effects of our science-based technology present problems for which neither the academic science of the past, nor the industrialized science of the present, possesses techniques or attitudes appropriate to their solutions. The illusion that there is a natural science standing pure and separate from all involvement with society is disappearing rapidly; but it tends to be replaced with the vulgar reduction of science to a branch of commercial or military industry.
As the world of science has grown in size and in power, its deepest problems have changed from the epistemological to the social. Although the character of the knowledge embodied in a particular scientific result is largely independent of the social context of its first achievement, the increase and improvement of scientific knowledge is very specialized and delicate social process, whose continued health and vitality under new conditions is by no means to be taken for granted. Moreover, science has grown to its present size and importance through its application to the solution of other sorts of problems, and these extensions react back on science and become part of it. For an understanding of this extended and enriched `science', we must consider those sort of disciplined inquiry whose goals include power as well as knowledge.
The key to national prosperity is perceived to be greater production capacity of a population. With the experience of the industrialized nations, the notion of S&T as the propelling force of the modern mode of mass production has therefore been accepted. According to this view the "underdeveloped" countries are in need of modern science and technology to start on the path of progress that is already set by the modern countries of the world.
The failure in the past decades of technical training programs, transfer of technology, and interventions of other sorts has now discredited the original notion regarding the relationship of S&T and social development. Accordingly, there has been an increase in literature of critiques of the role of modern science and technology in social development. Analysis of assumptions and imperialism of the modern science, the confrontation of modern and indigenous knowledge systems, and interference of the very theories of social and economical development with the local ways of life, and erosion of environmental balance have been among the popular subjects in this literature.
In this section a handful of articles and titles are presented which deal with issues of S&T in social development. The purpose of these titles and articles is twofold. One one hand, to familiarize the reader with the experience of the past 40 years in applying modern S&T to development. On the other, to warn the reader of the unforeseen problems that are inherit in the placement of a modern knowledge system into a rural area.
References cited at the end of this section by Farzam Arbab are of particular interest. They carry a pleasing balance between critical analysis of the current role and a search for a more appropriate role of S&T in development. His writings represent the movement of the Latin American scientific community's search for an appropriate Latin American originated S&T.
In seven short essays, Sachs evaluates the outcome of the development activities of the past four decades. He argues that a set of crisis identified by North have been the central theme of development. Each crises have run their course and created a series of development activities. First, it was `ignorance,' which made South in need of modern science. Then it was `poverty', and `hunger.' And now, it is the planetary survival, the environment, that will trigger off a new flood of `development' in 1990s.
In "Technology as a Trojan horse," pages 12-14, Sachs takes up the notion of technology as `tools of progress.' More than often technology is perceived in the arena of development as a tool. As such it is perceived to be value free and has the innocence of tools. This traditional view of technology is being increasingly challenged.
The popularity of this doctrine [tools of progress] derives from the tragic fallacy that modern technologies posses the innocence of tools. Are they not basically comparable to a hammer which one choose to pick up or not but which, when used, immensely increases the power of one's arm? Throughout all classes, nationalities and religions the consensus was for `more technology' because technology was viewed as powerful but neutral, entirely at the service of the user.
There is more to it, though, than the shaping of feelings. Something new becomes real: it is probably no exaggeration to say that the deep structures of perception are changing with massive invasion of technology. A few key words probably suffice: nature is viewed in mechanical terms, space is seen as geometrically homogeneous and time as linear. In short, human beings are not the same as they used to be --- and they feel increasingly unable to treat technologies like tools by laying them down.
In recent years, the critiques of modernization have argued that the modern science is at the core of the Western project of dominance. The nature of Western science is described as reductionist and monocultural, and that it does not tolerate any other form of knowledge system. Shiva, a physicist and currently active in feminist and environmental groups in her home land India, discusses the violence of what she calls the Reductionist Science. She argues that the reductionist science resorts to misinformation and falsehood in order to establish its monopoly on knowledge. In this process she identifies fourfold violence:
1. Violence against the subject of knowledge.
2. Violence against the object of knowledge.
3. Violence against the beneficiary of knowledge.
4. Violence against knowledge.
Then, she picks up on the politics of scientific knowledge:
Modern science conveniently absolves itself from all responsibility for the violent use of the technology that it furthers by laying the blame on politics and ethics---that is, in the application of science and technology, not in scientific knowledge.
The point to note about this dichotomy is that while serving and promoting a particular set of values, modern science posits itself as independent of values.
Shiva rejects this on historical and empirical, philosophical, ecological, and political basis. and produces some cases in India to illustrate the points.
Alvares has written what he calls an obituary of modern science whose claim to possess the ability "to end poverty and oppression has lost all credibility." While occupying the status of a "universal commodity," Alvares emphasizes that modern science is a cultural product of the West and a foreign entity for non-Western cultures. He characterizes the modern science as a culturally, historically, ethically specific and politically directed which "invade[s], and distort[s], and often attempt[s] to take over, the larger, more stable canvas of human perceptions and experience."
The widespread influence of modern science has been facilitated by the congenital relationship between science and development. Many third world indigenous policy makers and elites (whom Alvares calls "modernizers") have for decades embraced modern science and technology as salvation for "resource and capital deficiency." Alvares cites the Indian Science Policy Resolution of 1958 in this connection. New independent nation states "committed to development" saw science as the instrument for advancement of their people. In turn, "development", strategically represented in contradiction to "native backwardness", has since been an umbrella for racist, sexist, imperialist, and colonialist imperatives.
A short paper discussing the relationships between technology and production. He then relates the topic to colonialism and neocolonialism.
Stamp examines the body of literature on Women In Development and "women and technology" to "elucidate the dialectical relationship between technology and local community." She identifies 10 issues in the literature around which a degree of consensus has emerged, and discusses each one. The small anecdotes in the paper are very revealing regarding the effect of the modern technology on the village way of life and specially husband and wife relationship.
The content of this document is a summary of the direct contributions of individuals who participated in representation of their institutions in a one year learning project about the nature of non-government development organization.
This learning process included discussion on role of technology in development and how the Non-Government Development Organizations (NDGO) in Latin America should deal with technology.
The deliberation of these organizations on the subject of technology and their subsequent actions are almost always carried out in the context of two very important observations that modify each other. First, one is constantly reminded that technology, per se, should not be the central issue of rural development and that the problems of justice and socioeconomic and political organization should be considered far more important. And second, it is forcefully argued that the concept of technology has to be defined more broadly than what organizations follow narrow definitions of modernization or appropriate technology have been willing to accept. Technology should, in its very definition, try to embrace complex and interrelated technical and social problems together and, in this way, become an indispensable component of a more sophisticated approach to development.
FUNDAEC (Foundación para la Aplicación y Enseñanza de las Ciencias), Foundation for the Application and Teaching of Sciences, is a Non-Government Development Organization (NGDO) in Cali, Colombia. Its prime concern in development is Science and as the result FUNDAEC has established and currently operates a learning institution to which they refer as "the Rural University."
This booklet decibels FUNDAEC's principle framework and its activities. Of special interest is "The Role of Science and Technology," pages 26-31.
The group at the Rural University ... began to understand appropriateness as a reflection of a population's systematic learning about its own path of development, in terms of which they were already formulating their concepts of an educational system relevant to search for a new pattern of social organization.
The establishment of Latin American Center for Rural Technology and Education, CELATER, has its origin in discussions among a number of Non-Government Development Organizations (NDGO) in Latin America between 1983 and 1986.
Excellent discussion on many major and interrelated subjects of S&T and development: Generation of knowledge, emerging Latin American scientific community, science and technology, generation and application of science and technology, technology transfer, and research methodology.
Adler departs form the traditional analysis of S&T in development and links S&T to ideas and ideologies of progress, development, and modernization.
The idea of development and progress are linked. Development is a process: it is the evolution toward progress and our way of reaching it. Thus development may include an increase in power and economic growth; ... But it also includes the price we are willing to pay for progress
From this point of view, it is ideological economic and political choices---beliefs and values---that determine the kind and amount of productivity and the pace of development toward progress and that lead to a modernization process. The questions then become, why, develop a scientific and technological capacity, and how?
Of particular interest is the chronology of policy development in Argentina (pp. 108-13), and Brazil (pp. 151-65).
Let us examine the issues from a different perspective:
This books has been written by Marxists and therefore puts forward a socialist view of the role played by science and technology in economic development. ... The developing countries' efforts to create and expand their science capacity, the relative importance of its different components and the priority to be attached to their development, and the future outlook for scientific and technological progress have in fact been reviewed from this standpoint.
In his speech of 20 January 1947 before the US Congress President Truman called the masses of the inhabitants of the planet `underdeveloped.' Greater production was the key to the prosperity in which S&T played a pivotal role. Call for transfer of technical assistance and technologies of all sorts from North to South was clear and loud. In 1980's, however, there was a growing interest on what happens to technology when it is imported, and also on the various technological change that occur in these countries.
This section includes titles which deal with the technological capability of a developing country. Topics discussed include: importation and assimilation of technology, local technological innovation (as modification to the imported technology), national infrastructures for R&D and S&T, internal generation, and diffusion of technology.
While formerly research in the area of Third World technology focused largely on issues related to the transfer and choice of technology from abroad, more recently attempts have bene made to understand how imported technology is assimilated and changed to suit local circumstances, and how technological improvements of various kinds are brought about.
As a collection of papers presented at a conference held at the Centre for African Studies, University of Edinburgh, May-June 1982, this book attempts to examine the issues related to the Third World Technical Capability from a variety of points:
In the case of this conference, one of the organizers' aim was to focus on technological capability from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, and this is reflected in the papers.
The first article, "An Overview and Introduction to some of the Issues raised in this Book," pages 3-31, by Martin Fransman is a concise summary of the main issues in the articles.
This publication includes an excellent bibliography on the various subjects related to technological capability.
Available evidence indicates that even during the high-growth decades of the 1960s and 1970s, the contribution of technological advance to latin American economies was far from robust (Chenery 1986). If the region is to enjoy long-term growth once again, on a more sustainable basis and accompanied by socioeconomic development, it is imperative that internal generation, importation, diffusion, adaptation, and mastery of technologies become more effective.
James discusses some practical aspects of building a performing R&D and S&T enterprise in a country. He includes freedom of R&D, questions the degree of integration of R&D and S&T policies, elaborates on inadequate socialization of science and technology, and concludes with some policy suggestions.
Other papers in this book are also well worth pursuing. Particularly interesting is the opening chapter "Trends in Development Theory in Latin America: From Prebisch to the Present" by the editors.
In light of the United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development, the Caribbean and Latin American countries decided to do some preparatory work in a symposium before the Conference, and provide a context for the deliberations of the conference on the subject. This volume is the proceedings of that symposium held in Miami, April 6-8, 1987.
The papers in this volume are organized under, and discuss the following areas:
1. The building of a minimum local capability to produce scientific knowledge and technological know-how is the preconditions for the successful application of science and technology to the solution of difficult intricate problems of underdevelopment;
2. the task of establishing a local science and technology capability in the development countries must start with strengthening S&T infrastructure, and improving or redesigning the mechanisms of technology transfer from the advanced countries;
3. there is a need to know more about concrete technological experiences and difficulties of individual LDC [Less Developed Countries] and, in particular of small LDCs, and
4. the time was ripe to take stock of the achievements and failures of numerous science and technology policy agencies established in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 1960s and the early 1970s.
Finally, it was thought that the symposium offered an opportunity to look with frankness, objectivity, and expertise into the prospects of UNCSTD [UN Conference on Science and Technology for Development]
This collection of case studies examines the import and assimilation of technology in specific situations.
The universal acceptance of S&T as the major propelling force of development gives rise to a set of issues and questions: How do we use S&T? What would be the acting principles in decision making? How do we implement our intentions? Where do we allocate our resources? How do we measure our progress?
Policy is said to be a statement of intention. The fewness of resources---financial, human, and natural---calls for priorities and constrains its allocation. Policy instruments are devised to persuade the decision makers along its own line of intention. The progress is then assessed by the use of social and S&T indicators. A healthy policy making structure will then allow the feedback to modify the policy. Thus forming a cycle of experience-reflection-action in the policy making process.
Science Policy in Latin America 1971. Third Meeting of the Standing Conference of the Directors of National Councils for Science Policy and Research of the Latin American Member States. France: UNESCO, 1973.
UNESCO has performed a series of policy studies in its program aimed at gathering, analyzing, and distributing information regarding R&D in member countries.
This series aims at making available to those responsible for scientific research and development throughout the world factual information concerning the science policies of various Member States of the Organization as well as normative studies of a general character.
It gives an overall impression of the state of R&D and S&T policy development in the region.
The authors discuss current philosophical views about the nature of science and technology as social and political entities and also consider the history of the relations between these fields and political authority. They combine an issue and case study approach with a narrative discussion of how ethical, participatory, and institutional factors have emerged in the policy process. ... After reviewing the difficult problems facing the modern policy maker, the authors assess the methods and ethical assumptions of the current policy-making framework and consider alternatives that are more sensitive to the complexity of contemporary policy issues.
Although concerned with the Latin American countries, familiarizing with the policy process in the modern capitalist states has its benefits. This is a textbook on the subject.
The publisher's blurb on the back cover says it all:
...Ham & Hill explore a wide range of theoretical approaches to the study of policy making and implementation. The book is based on the premise that successful policy making depends on an understanding of the policy process itself, which, in turn, depends upon some understanding of the structure of power in society."
OECD. Choosing Priorities in Science and Technology. OECD: France, 1991.
S&T can take many forms and develop in a multitude of directions. Given the high cost of R&D, countries are forced to be very careful in allocation of their resources. This is specially true in the case of developing countries where the scarcity of resources are more striking. The issues of priority is then added to those of policy and indicators.
The first conclusion of this study is in fact that the setting of science and technology priorities is essentially a complex political process involving many people who interact with one another.... In a way, the process of selecting science priorities is that of the dialectic between the internal logic of scientific knowledge and that of the needs of the economy and society.
The "Summary and Conclusion" at the beginning of the book is very effective and well rounded.
IDRC, Science and Technology for Development: Main Comparative Report of the STPI Project. Ottawa: IDRC, 1978 (IDRC-109e).
IDRC carried a large study project known as the Science and Technology Policy Instruments (STPI) project. From its initial idea to the publication of this main report the project took seven years. The ten countries studied were: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, India, South Korea, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia. A chronology of STPI project may be found on page 103 of this report.
The STPI project resulted in more than 200 papers and reports, the summary of which is reported in this document. The set of STPI publications are listed under five major categories: primary publications (4 in total), Modules (12), Selections (4), background papers (8), and country reports (4). Detail listing of these publications may be found at the end of any STPI publications.
Because a policy is only a statement of intentions, it needs to be supported by policy instruments---means by which it is put into practice. Policy instruments are the vehicle used by policymakers to orient other peoples' decisions-making. Thus, policy instruments are supposed to induce individuals and institutions to make decisions following the lines established by those in power: in short the connecting link between the purpose expressed in a policy and its actualization.
Morita-Lou, H. (Editor) Science and Technology Indicators for Development. Colorado: Westview Press, Inc., 1985.
There is a danger in applying a set of S&T indicators to the developing countries which are designed for the more advanced countries. At times it would be like comparing apples and oranges. Therefore, there is a need to measure the impact of S&T in developing countries based on assumptions and facts that are related to the developing countries.
The problems associated with the generation and utilization of indicators of the impact of science and technology on development will prove to be of interest and of use to a wide audience of those many people in the developing world who have responsibilities for formulating, administering, and adapting the science and technology policies.
This book, as the proceedings of a panel of specialist of the United Nations Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for Development, tries to see if a set of indicators can be identified that are specially useful for developing countries.
A handy reference book. Section 8, Economic Modernization and Political Development, contains definition and significance of some key terminologies to development in Latin America.
This volume lists the major academic institutions of Latin American countries. A brief overview of each institution is also given. Chapter 14 lists the International, U.S., and European organizations promoting science and science information in Latin America. Also of interest is chapter 17, "Previous studies of science information in Latin America," which lists a selected scientific journals of each Latin American country.
Public decisions, which must be made under tight budgetary constraints in both the public and private sectors, require information, hence there has been growing demand for data on research and Development. To meet this demand, the OECD has performed in-depth analyses of the available data, permitting comparisons between countries and over time.
Including a host of tables, figures and charts, this report examines the structure and activities of national R&D of some of the member states during the 1970's.
An outline and a discussion of the eleven main areas of science and technology in Colombia.
This is an annual publication of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the State of Israel. It discusses the current status of R&D and S&T in Israel. Includes a brief chronology of its development since pre-state era. Major part of the publication is a directory of R&D and S&T governmental bodies, and public and private enterprises listed by sector.
Israel is well known for its effective S&T policy. The scientific community in Israel is well worth studying. Israel's plan to build a scientific nation is another aspect of its policy to consider. Israel receives 3,500 new scientists and 20,000 engineers each year through its immigration program. The integration of these qualified stock of resources into its programs and R&D structure is discussed.
This publication outlines Israel's policy making bodies and on the back of page 67 there is a chart illustrating the major governmental science and technology organization. Overall, it is a useful reference material.
This is the third report in a series of Reviews of National Innovation Policy. There seems to be a more recent study in this series devoted to Mexico. However, I was unable to locate it.
The purpose of these reviews is twofold:
...[F]irst, to enable the countries concerned to appraise the political, economic and structural aspects of the action taken to reinforce the role of technological innovation in the achievement of national goals.
Secondly, to reviews help to enrich the pool of available knowledge on the content of innovation policies and their role as an instrument of government.