Science and Economic Development - 2nd Edition: New Patterns of Living

Meier, Richard L.

Investigators are deeply concerned with the rightness of their Own vision of what is true and in1portant. How good is the selection of items to which attention is being paid? What factors are being overlooked that will later turn out to be meaningful? What has been overemphasized? Why? When the task is that of formulating proposals and plans for the future, questions such as these become central. In science and its technological applications, it is especially difficult to achieve a viewpoint that will hold up for decades. The focal theories and preferred modes of explanation shift with remarkable fluidity at the frontier of research. The backlog is redigested into forms best suited for ready reference and teaching, but it rarely keeps pace with the accelerating accumulation of new findings. The recorded body of scientific knowledge appearing since this book was forwarded to the publisher about a dozen years ago is roughly equal to the total that had been accumulated from the beginning of civilization to that date. It is important to know what impact this knowledge has had upon the directions in which world development could advance.

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