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Innovation, Complexity and Policy

Contributions from 30 years of innovation policy research in Austria

Edited By Matthias Weber

This book brings together a set of contributions that show the breadth and depth of the scientific work of Josef Fröhlich and his influence on Austrian research, technology and innovation (RTI) policy. It is edited in honour of the occasion of his retirement as Head of Innovation Systems Department at the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. The contributors provide an overview of important issues of debate at the intersection of innovation studies and government policy, which have been pivotal for the modernisation and consolidation of the Austrian innovation system since the early 1990s.

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The Austrian ScienceCenter-Network as an example for systemic intervention in science learning (Barbara Streicher / Margit Fischer / Wolfgang Czerny / Barbara Heller-Schuh)

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Barbara Streicher, Margit Fischer, Wolfgang Czerny, Barbara Heller-Schuh

The Austrian ScienceCenter-Network as an example for systemic intervention in science learning

Abstract: The Austrian Science Center Network serves as an experimental setting for putting network theory into practice. It aims at stimulating systemic interventions in various societal subsystems by fostering hands-on science learning. The paper analyses the structure, instruments and outcomes of this organisation during its first decade.

1 Introduction

If scientists, museum educators, artists, teachers, science communicators and policy makers engage in lively discussion and open exchange even at the 58th network meeting – then something must have worked out in the Austrian ScienceCenter-Network. If 170 partners from such diverse institutional backgrounds focus on their common active interest in hands-on science learning and, without formal commitment, stay engaged and willing to learn and cooperate – then the network must provide some value to them. If the initiators of the Network1 look back at the first 11 years – they smile. In retrospect, it seems straightforward to put network theory into practice for a systemic intervention – however, it started as and still is an ongoing experimental process, requiring careful observation and governance. This paper intends to analyse the structure, instruments and outcomes of this unusual organisational form.

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