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Education, Science and Knowledge Capitalism

Creativity and the Promise of Openness


Michael A. Peters

We live in the age of global science – but not, primarily, in the sense of ‘universal knowledge’ that has characterized the liberal metanarrative of ‘free’ science and the ‘free society’ since its early development in the Enlightenment. Today, an economic logic links science to national economic policy, while globalized multinational science dominates an environment where quality assurance replaces truth as the new regulative ideal. This book examines the nature of educational and science-based capitalism in its cybernetic, knowledge, algorithmic and bioinformational forms before turning to the emergence of the global science system and the promise of openness in the growth of international research collaboration, the development of the global knowledge commons and the rise of the open science economy. Education, Science and Knowledge Capitalism explores the nature of cognitive capitalism, the emerging mode of social production for public education and science and its promise for the democratization of knowledge.


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Part Two | The Emergence of the Global Science System and the Promise of Openness


Chapter 8 The Rise of Global Science and the Emerging Political Economy of International Research Collaborations1 Michael A. Peters Truth…and utility are the very same things. —Francis Bacon, New Organon, I, Aphorism 124 Introduction Increasingly, emphasis has fallen on the economics and productivity of science in both firms and higher education institutions, as policy-makers and politicians seek to foster innovation and to draw strong links be- tween scientific performance and emerging economic structures (Crespi & Geuna, 2004, 2005). In these science policy discussions the accent of- ten falls on measuring scientific productivity, on ‘intellectual property’ and the codification of knowledge, and on research collaboration, part- nership and cooperation in regional, national and international contexts. Investment in science, engineering and technology has received strong attention from governments as the basis of the ‘knowledge economy’ and most governments now look to their international science policy strategy to emphasise national competitive advantage and to encourage research collaboration in global science projects. Indeed, it is the age of global science, but not primarily in the sense of ‘universal knowledge’, which has characterised the liberal meta- narrative of ‘free’ science since its early development, where scientific findings or results are open to peer review, and public scrutiny and, in principle, are reproducible by others following the same procedures.2 It is the age of global science but not necessarily in the sense of ‘interna- tional’ collaboration (part of the same liberal meta-narrative) as, say, the incipient norms of free exchange of ideas, free inquiry and collaboration...

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