Science Foresight Project final report

Katz, J S, Stewart, S, Gow, T A K and Martin, B (2001) Science Foresight Project final report. Project Report. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

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Abstract

The aim of the Science Foresight Project was to design and assess a simple, objective and costeffective technique to gather information about emerging short and long-term research
developments, primarily in the physical and engineering sciences. International experts were
objectively chosen using co-citation patterns in scientific and technical literature, and were invited
to submit their predictions about emerging developments in their research fields. They were
questioned about how the effects of various factors and driving forces might affect their predictions.
The cost and time required to administer the questionnaire and collect the responses was
minimised through the use of Internet and Web based technologies. A simple process was used to
report the predictions; short excerpts from each prediction were used as the summary and each
prediction was classified into one of ten categories of emerging developments. Authors from 114
papers (23.7%) responded, identifying a total of 190 short-term and 111 long-term predicted
emerging developments. Expert responses were received from an international group of senior
researchers between the ages of 36 and 55, mostly engaged in basic research in academic
institutions. Some experts described specific emerging developments, some discussed broad
emerging trends in their field and others described both. Emerging development categories such
as Atomic & Stellar Matter, Biology & Biosphere, Biomedical & Clinical, Computers & Robotics and
Genomics & Proteomics were closely aligned with conventional science areas while other
categories such as Mathematical & Computational and Nano Science & Technology contained
predictions from almost every area of science. The technique developed and applied here appears
to constitute an efficient means of surveying the international research community in order to gain
insights into common patterns that evolve from their collective research activities. Dynamically
monitoring emerging research developments on a continuous basis could provide valuable
information to policy makers, planners and researchers

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Project Report)
Additional Information: DST/TR01697
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: J. Sylvan Katz
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:18
Last Modified: 22 May 2013 11:01
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30671
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