A Triple Helix 5 Workshop Proposed by:
, School of Cultural and Innovation
Studies, University of East London
Alvaro de Miranda
The proposed Workshop will discuss three themes, on the basis
of papers to be presented by Yoshiko Okubo, Alvaro de Miranda,
and Peter Senker, the authors of the GLOSPERA Report (Global Systems
and Policy Design for the European Research Area) completed for
the European Commission in July 2004.
The first theme will be European scientific co-operation
policy. The second will concern some dilemmas and paradoxes in
relationships between globalisation and international scientific
co-operation. The third theme will be international scientific
assessment, with particular reference to the IPCC (The Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change).
European scientific co-operation policy: Yoshiko Okubo
Scientific research has moved gradually from individuals and small
teams (little science) to a bureaucratised activity carried out
in research laboratories and involving collaboration in teams
(big science). The initial impetus towards international cooperation,
dating back from the immediate post-World War II period, came
from scientists involved in “big” basic science requiring
resources that were beyond the capabilities of individual countries.
By 1977, European cooperation programmes had been initiated in
several areas including new sources of energy , biology, radiation
protection, plutonium recycling and storage of radioactive waste.
However, no effective links with industrial policy had yet been
established. The pressures to establish such links became stronger
as the world recession which followed OPEC oil price rises intensified
after 1974 and resulted in increased international competition.
By the 1980s, there was considerable concern in Europe about the
technological “gap” between Japan, the U.S. and Europe,
and European measures were designed to meet this challenge.
Two collaborative projects aimed at industrial
competitiveness took root and eventually succeeded. The first
was in the civilian aircraft industry. European governments had
already conceded that national initiatives in this industry designed
to increase competitiveness with the U.S. which dominated the
world market were no longer viable. The Airbus project began with
discussions amongst European governments, aircraft builders and
airlines in 1966. These discussions led to the formation in 1970
of an international consortium, initially involving France and
West Germany, later joined by the UK and Spain. Under French leadership,
the project eventually gave birth to the Airbus family of aircraft.
The first Airbus aircraft, the A300B, was launched at the 1969
Paris air show. Thirty five years later, in 2004, Airbus was vying
with Boeing, the dominant U.S. manufacturer, for the position
of the world’s leading civil aircraft manufacturer.
The second initiative was in space exploration
with the signing in 1964 of the European Launcher Development
Organisation (ELDO) and the European Space Research Organisation
(ESRO) conventions. In 1974 ELDO and ESRO were merged and the
European Space Agency (RSA) was set up. ESA has since run an impressive
number of successful projects.
Recent European Union policy developments retain
the primary objective of increasing European international competitiveness.
The Workshop will discuss whether these initiatives place sufficient
emphasis on the need to address social and cohesion objectives;
and whether in the light of the recent entry into the EU of several
new member states which are generally somewhat less advanced in
terms of development than previous members.
Globalisation and International Research Cooperation: Some Dilemmas
and Paradoxes: Alvaro de Miranda
It is generally assumed that globalisation is one of the main
factors driving the growth of international research cooperation
at the end of the 20th. century and the beginning of the 20th.
However, research has shown that the recent growth of international
scientific cooperation is due more to the interplay of the needs
and interests of the main actors involved, scientists and national
policymakers, than to globalisation. International cooperation
initiatives result more from the interplay of foreign policy objectives
of national policy makers with the needs and interests of scientists
than from the need to solve global problems.
There is tension between scientists, who, ostensibly,
are driven mainly by the need to “advance the frontiers
of science”, and national policymakers who wish to ensure
that investment in international research initiatives from national
budgets will yield a juste retour to the nation and/or fit in
with its foreign policy objectives.
“Top down” initiatives are originated
by policy makers in response to policy aims. Research Programmes
which have broad scientific aims and do not attempt to specify
precisely the objectives to be achieved, or the scientific methodology
for achieving them, are normally of this type. HFSP (the Human
Frontiers Science Programme) and IMS (Intelligent Manufacturing
Systems) are examples. “Big technology” projects also
tend to fall into this category, “Bottom-up” initiatives
are those originated by scientists. Projects which have well defined
scientific aims and objectives tend to be of this type. For example,
HGP (the Human Genome Project) was initiated by scientists driven
by a vision of exciting, clear, scientific objectives. Funding
agencies were attracted by its clear goals and promise of advances
in fundamental knowledge, to be made freely available to scientists
worldwide, which would facilitate important medical applications.
There is a notable absence of public participation in the decision-making
process for setting up international research cooperation.
The Workshop will discuss the barriers to the
development of international research cooperation initiatives
which would contribute to the solution of the increasing number
of problems associated with globalisation. To what extent does
the persistence of the ‘national interest’ hinder
cooperation for the solution of global problems? What mechanisms
could be developed to overcome the existing barriers? How could
the decision making mechanisms be widened to include citizens
as well as scientists and policymakers in order to democratise
science and reduce public scepticism?
International scientific assessment: global warming, the IPCC
and the Kyoto Process: Peter Senker
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
was initiated by scientists who were concerned about the dangers
of anthropogenic global warming, rather than by policymakers
in search of solutions to world problems. The IPCC undertakes
very little siceintific research itself : it mainly reviews
and assesses existing research evidence in order to inform policy
decisions. Together with the Kyoto Protocol which is based on
the IPCC’s analyses, this comprises the most prominent
current global policy initiative to counter environmental degradation
thought to be caused by human activities. The IPCC’s climate
predictions are based on computer model simulations on supercomputers
with Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs). There
is an IPCC consensus that global warming is an established man-made
trend based on excessive emission of greenhouse gases - primarily
carbon dioxide - and that if this is not reversed it will result
in serious harm to the planet. If temperature increases occur,
and sea levels also increase as fast as IPCC envisages, both
could be seriously damaging.
Before the creation of the IPCC, the scientists who initiated
it had already defined the threat of global warming, together
with the broad lines of what they considered desirable responses
to it. This served to establish the consensus on which the IPCC
and the subsequent Kyoto process is based. Neither IPCC reports,
nor the Kyoto process, were disrupted by the major scientific
controversies that continued mainly outside the IPCC. The Second
World Climate Conference in 1990 called for the creation of
a global treaty. for on the basis of . A Convention outlining
legally binding commitments for the parties to protect against
climate change was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 (the Kyoto
Protocol). This required a separate, formal process of signature
and ratification by national governments before it could enter
The Workshop will discuss the implications of the IPCC and
the controversies surrounding it for debates and policies concerning
serious world problems. It will also consider the adequacy and
usefulness of the Kyoto Protocol - the principal policy measure
developed as a consequence of IPCC’s activities –
in relation to global environmental problems. As IPCC scientists
themselves suggest, it is likely that the requirement for international
scientific assessment will grow. Issues other than global warming,
such as environmental pollution, AIDS, BSE, and genetically
modified (GM) foods, are examples of problems from which benefits
might be secured from internationally co-ordinated scientific
assessment. In such contexts, it could become important to draw
lessons from the IPCC/Kyoto experience.