Is Technology Degrading Research?

by David Hertz



After a long period of observation, during which author have been a researcher as well as a consultant and an administrator of research projects, he is quite sure that, as a creative operation, industrial research structure is weak. Searching for causes, one not infrequently hears businessmen blame the researcher's lack of understanding of business and economics. Over the long haul the managers, the scientist-managers, in the research organization and indeed all scientists, are fighting such baffles to wrest information from nature. These are not easy tasks. Each resource used to obtain one objective means that this particular resource cannot be used at the same time to obtain another objective. Thus the development and assignment of resources to alternative use is of paramount importance in scientific endeavor. Bad strategies, that is bad planning, on the part of research directorships and bad tactics, that is poor skill at the bench level, lead to failures, or virtual failures, in research and scientific effort. Putting this puzzle together is not a problem for the businessman to solve, but is a problem for the scientist to solve.

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