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Science and the Future of Economic Growth'

By Harvey Brooks


My title today is characterized by the ambiguity of its implications. That is intentional. If I had an-nounced a similar title 5 or 10 years ago, there would have been no such ambiguity. Everybody would be expecting me to talk about science and technological innovation, and the role of technological innovation as the engine of economic growth and thereby the chief instrument of social progress. Today it could still mean that, but it could also mean science as the vil lain of growth, the major source of most of the disbenefits and problems produced by growth. Or it could mean science as the anticipatory feed-back mechanism of society, the early warning system which alerts us to the disbenefits of growth, and pro-vides us with the means of quantifying and deflecting them. Actually the title means all three of these things, and I wil l deal with some aspects of each in turn

Year: 1974
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