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Instruments of Commerce and Knowledge: Probe Microscopy, 1980-2000

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  • Cyrus C. M. Mody

Abstract

Longstanding debates about the role of the university in national culture and the global economy have entered a new phase in the past decade in most industrialized, and several industrializing, countries. One important focus of this debate is corporate involvement in academic scientific research. Proponents of the academic capitalism say that corporate involvement makes the university leaner, more agile, better able to respond to the needs of the day. Critics say that corporate involvement leaves society without the independent, critical voices traditionally lodged in universities. I argue that a science and technology studies perspective, using case studies of research communities, can push this debate in directions envisioned by neither proponents nor critics. I use the development and commercialization of the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope as an example of how research communities continually redraw the line between corporate and academic institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Cyrus C. M. Mody, 2006. "Instruments of Commerce and Knowledge: Probe Microscopy, 1980-2000," NBER Working Papers 12700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12700
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    JEL classification:

    • N8 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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