A New Deal fo Research and Technology
After having recalled how greatly research and development efforts were concentrated in the triad with nonetheless remarkable spurt in the NICs, Pierre Papon paints a panorama of the new economic, social, political and scientific context in which research is carried out.
The author shows in particular that the economic constraints (beginning with the requirement for short-term profitability) and social constraints (in particular society's demands for "reassurance") are scarcely favourable to the indispensable long term investment which research requires. He particularly denounces the flaws of a state more "firefighter" than strategist whose priorities are more dictated by immediate problems and the need to respond to societal demand than by clearly defined long term objectives.
Pierre Papon considers that there is a "research crisis" resulting from misunderstandings among the scientific community, public authorities and society. In particular the latter two expect from research immediate solutions to current problems when the research effort can only be productive in the long term. In the end, he argues for a true research policy based on forward thinking and attacks the dangers of an excessively utilitarian and short-sighted approach by the state and society.