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INVISIBLE PARTICIPANTS. WOMEN IN SCIENCE IN AUSTRALIA, 1830 — 1950
There is a great deal of contemporary pressure to examine why women are not going into science, to encourage them to do so, and, among a growing band of feminist scholars, to question and challenge the long male-centred structuring and domination of the ethos of science. Deep cultural forces survive that continue to locate most women in the profession’s lower ranks; the place of women in science leadership and policymaking in Australia is conspicuously small, while the very architecture of science and its invisible colleges and networks appear to perpetuate the expectation that science is a masculine world. How has this scenario developed in Australia? What part have woman played in the society and community of science? How widespread has their participation been? And what, in a sweep across a century or more, are the inhibitors that have kept women out of ‘mainstream’ science? This paper examines the background in Australia.
THE ROLE OF SMALL FIRMS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ROBOTICS MARKET IN SPAIN
Angel Martínez Sánchez
This paper studies the structure and development of the robotics market in Spain. The robotisation process of Spanish industry began in the bigger firms, but nowadays small and medium sized firms are the main adopters of robots. The degree of concentration of demand has decreased more than that of supply. The participation of robots in Spanish technology is still small although half the robots adopted are manufactured in Spain. The development of supply has been endogenous, but supplier firms share robots with other equipment in their product portfolio.
CORPORATE INNOVATION: SOME AUSTRALIAN EXPERIENCES
Geoffrey N. Soutar & Margaret M. McNeil
Corporate innovation has not been well studied in Australia. The present study examined the extent and type of innovation in companies listed on the Western Australian Stock Exchange and it identified the high and low innovators by calculating an Innovation Score for each of the 184 companies in the sample. Factors which influence the level of corporate innovation were also determined. Companies with high levels of innovation were found to involve company employees in the innovative process. As in America, venture teams, product champions and creative geniuses impacted on innovative capacity. The input of customers is also a valuable source of ideas for innovation. Management of high innovating companies were committed to innovation, tolerant of risk taking and encouraged autonomous behaviour in their employees. However, successful corporate innovators did not give up formal control. Rules and procedures were also important.
SOLAR WATER HEATING IN QUEENSLAND: THE ROLES OF INNOVATION ATTRIBUTES, ATTITUDES AND INFORMATION IN THE ADOPTION PROCESS
The public acceptance of solar domestic water heaters in Australia is explored with special reference to Queensland. Classical diffusion-of-innovations theory is used as the basis for a telephone survey of over 400 new Queensland householders. Survey results indicate that solar water heaters were readily available for purchase and imply that limited effort needs to be expended on further establishing consumer awareness in the market examined. Householders typically established technical feasibility before serious consideration of the solar option and financial viability before adoption. Friends, neighbours and social networks were very important in communicating relevant information. Survey responses suggest that government agencies and electricity authorities played a limited role in promoting the use of solar water heaters for new housing in Queensland. Some policy implications and promotional measures are discussed.
BIOTECHNOLOGY IN AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE: THE VIEWS OF FARMER REPRESENTATIVES
Geoffrey Lawrence , Helen McKenzie & Frank Vanclay
Biotechnology has the potential to impact significantly upon agriculture. However, although biotechnology is being promoted by the Australian Government and the National Farmers’ Federation, there are growing concerns about the environmental and social impacts of biotechnological applications.
A survey of representatives of rural producer organisations was undertaken to assess the policy positions of those groups who will be most affected by the new developments. It was found that few groups had actually developed a policy and that many representatives were personally uncertain and unclear about the position of the members. A major difference was observed between organic farming organisations — which form a small proportion of the total number of groups surveyed (and which are opposed to further biotechnological development) — and conventional farming organisations which express widespread and largely uncritical support of agrobiotechnological research and development in Australia.
THE POLITICS OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS REFORM IN AUSTRALIA
The structure and organisation of many national and international telecommunications networks around the world has undergone considerable change in recent years. These changes have been characterised as part of the global trend away from the traditional regulation of telecommunications towards a so-called ‘deregulated’ environment. This article looks at the recent history of the process of change and reform which has occurred in telecommunications in Australia. It is argued that the simple notion of deregulation of telecommunications as a process where the government withdraws from market intervention does little to explain the complex nature of change which has occurred in Australia. By linking telecommunications policy to broader changes in technology policy, the paper aims to widen the base of current evaluation of telecommunications policy. This paper observes that it is possible to interpret the ‘deregulation’ of telecommunications as part of a longer historical process of various Australian government institutions trying to come to terms with economic and technological change. The particular emphasis placed in political rhetoric on technology in general and telecommunications specifically as a source of progress has meant that many important social issues have been neglected or inadequately addressed.
INNOVATION, CORPORATE ORGANISATION AND INDUSTRY POLICY: WILLIAM LAZONICK ON THE FIRM AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
Paul L. Robertson
In two recent books and several articles, William Lazonlck has examined the proper industry policy for countries during periods of significant innovation. On the basis of the historical development of Britain, the USA and Japan, he concludes that successful innovation requires the establishment of large, vertically-integrated firms that are able to manoeuvre flexibly because their workers are willing and able to cooperate with change. Although Lazonick’s arguments are persuasive in many respects, they are based on assumptions of future developments that are not necessarily correct. In particular, large firms may not be the best vehicles for the development and implementation of innovation. Moreover, increasingly ‘intelligent’ machines may erode the need for a flexible workforce, much as happened with the advent of Fordism in the early decades of the twentieth century. As a result, nations should be wary of committing themselves to centralised and uniform policies when the nature of the problem is still uncertain.