Synopses & Reviews
Science is increasingly tasked with kick-starting the moribund economy, underpinning a new techno-economic paradigm, while also tackling multiple, overlapping global challenges, such as climate change or food security, global pandemics or energy security. But the cultural and political role of science and the political economy of its funding are currently in a state of upheaval, especially following the financial crisis of 2008 and its continuing economic fallout. Also, the continuing dominance of the economic orthodoxy, particularly in portraying the market is the ideal information system, is not just an epistemic obstacle to a more productive analysis, but is itself a key causal aspect of any comprehensive explanation of the current crises of (the political economy of) science and of the persistent misfiring of policy regarding research and innovation.
In these circumstances, there is an urgent need, both social and academic, for a new and revitalized study of the economics of science or rather a political economy of research and innovation and, indeed, there is a growing body of literature that is constructing a compelling, wide-ranging and synthetic alternative. Of course, it is one thing rigorously and critically to expose misunderstanding and misconceptions and their negative societal effects, but such work must be complemented by analysis that highlights more insightful approaches and alternative, more promising initiatives. This Routledge Handbook comprehensively demonstrates that this work is now of sufficient scope, depth, breadth and (loose) coherence that it deserves demands the concerted attention of all scholars, policymakers and stakeholders concerned with the health and qualitative roles of research and innovation in future societies.