Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Scientific Life: entrepreneurs

From The Scientific Life, by Harvard historian of science Steven Shapin. This book is full of realistic descriptions of the "late modern" scientific enterprise, and how it came to be. (Publisher synopsis, interview, talk.)

Many scientific entrepreneurs reject any notion that the transformation of knowledge into material products or marketable services is any less intellectually demanding, or that it requires any lesser degree of intelligence, than so called pure science. ... The problems may be diffusely framed -- how to raise finance, recruit and motivate people, organize the corporate environment, locate markets and identify competitors -- but, because of that, they can plausibly be seen as more intellectually demanding than the well-framed problems of academic science. Entrepreneurs may see themselves as having a broad vision of the world, contrasted to the narrowness and inwardness of their purely academic colleagues. They know how to do things about which their colleagues are clueless. It's a matter of experience, of course, but it may also be seen as a form of constitutional intelligence.

While I can't help but like this paragraph, I do think we should distinguish between intellectual ability and other sorts of abilities. Scientists who start and run companies may have a broader set of skills (leadership, negotiation, risk taking, communication, psychological insight, etc.) than the typical academic, but I wouldn't describe running a startup as more intellectually demanding than pure scientific research (at least not theoretical physics!).

5 comments:

anon said...

Entrepreneurs also understand that making a living as a professor is morally unacceptable.

Guru Indonesia said...

i remind you another example that then is called as WARREN HARDING ERROR. the truth is often obtained from the mistakes we did

電話 said...

小遊戲,成人貼圖,成人影片,tt1069同志交友網,成人視訊,aio交友愛情館,情色視訊,情色視訊,色情遊戲,交友戀愛小站,jp成人,熊貓貼圖,成人圖片,美女遊戲,情色自拍,漫畫貼圖,成人電影,成人文學,視訊,情色論壇,聊天,免費視訊,666成人,玩美女人影音秀,尋夢園聊天聯盟,pc交友,4u成人,情色視訊聊天室,歐美免費影片,小高聊天室,0204貼圖區,成人漫畫,免費成人影片,聊天室ut,色情影片,成人貼圖站,69成人,6k聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,貼圖片區,女同志聊天室,

ncm said...

"Not less" isn't the same as "more".

The practice of transforming "knowledge into material products or marketable services" has always been called Engineering. To pretend it is more respectable if it's called "entrepreneurial science" is bigotry. It's not science, and it has nothing to do with science. Engineering has a proud tradition going back many thousands of years.

It's traditional for people trained as scientists to to taught to sneer at engineers, and to insist that what they do is less demanding than "science". It's also traditional to sneer at technicians. Both practices are ugly vices that retard scientific progress as they blight careers.

ncm said...

So, shame on Steven Shapin.

Blog Archive

Labels