Prometheus: Vol 8, No 2 (1990)

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SOVIET SCIENCE UNDER GORBACHEV
Stephen Fortescue
Pages: 221-239

ABSTRACT

Gorbachev has exposed science to the same pressure for restructuring as all other sectors of Soviet society, as there has been an increasing recognition of poor scientific returns on a major investment. Some of the key problems of Soviet science are examined, in two basic categories: problems which are internal to Soviet science itself and problems of its relations with the outside world. The first category includes planning and funding difficulties, management style, and management-staff relations; the second, backwardness in key technologies and isolation from the world scientific community. The analysis of each of these areas of difficulty includes an account of current attempts at reform.

INFORMATION DIFFUSION: RECONCILING SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND PUBLIC POLICY
Ralph J. K. Chapman
Pages: 240-256

ABSTRACT

This paper is concerned with the policy-making processes and the nature of the information available to those who participate in them. At a very simple level of concern is the issue of how to define what is a risk to which governments should pay attention in the public interest. For those responsible for making policy decisions there are real dilemmas. The policy process itself is inadequate to deal with the processing of scientific information about risk. A representative parliamentary system is notoriously ill-equipped to cope with a multiplicity of information sources. The question of which particular scientific voice should be regarded as legitimate is problematic. There is no single institutional centre to identify particular problems. It is this latter question that creates the most difficulty for policymakers since they need to base their justification of policy on the most valid of grounds. In the past objective scientific fact has been so regarded. Today there are as many different scientific opinions as there are advisers. Problems are defined and redefined depending on the control of the agenda at any one point in time. Some suggestions are made about how these dilemmas might be addressed.

COMPUTER CRIME: NEW PROBLEM FOR THE INFORMATION SOCIETY
Tom Forester & Perry Morrison
Pages: 257-272

ABSTRACT

The new information and communication technologies bring many benefits to society, but they also create new social and ethical problems — such as software theft, invasions of privacy, hacking and the creation of viruses. Computer-assisted crime is one of the most serious and its apparent growth in recent years demonstrates clearly how new technologies create new opportunities for criminal activity. The available evidence on the nature and extent of computer crime is reviewed, together with the available data on participation. Techniques for improving computer security are then discussed and the appropriate lessons drawn.

VALUE ADDED SERVICES: APPLICATIONS, ACCEPTABILITY AND POLICIES — THE CASE OF TELECONFERENCING
Michael Quayle
Pages: 273-287

ABSTRACT

Recent technological developments have fused computer and telecommunications technologies together creating the scope for a wider and more diversified array of communication services. The new services rising out of this integration are called value-added services (VAS) and are offered on value-added networks (VAN). One such new offering is teleconferencing which involves multipoint simultaneous or store and forward connect facilities using audio, video, computer or graphic support systems. This paper reports on some results collected from a recent study on the applications and acceptability of teleconferencing as a new value-added service. It compares views recently collected from the United States and explores the actors that will determine acceptability and take-up of the new service offering. Some attention is also paid to new regulator provisions and pricing practices for the VAS and contends that teleconferencing may well be a test case to determine the boundary between old and new technologies.

W.M. HUGHES, THE COMMONWEALTH LINE AND THE BRITISH SHIPPING CARTEL, 1914–1927
Kosmas Tsokhas
Pages: 288-303

ABSTRACT

The origins of a number of important public enterprises can be traced to the First World War. This article deals with the Commonwealth Line and traces the factors which led to its creation by government and those that caused its privatization. The article traces the history of the Commonwealth Line from its formation as a desperate measure to overcome a wartime shipping shortage that was preventing the transportation of vital primary products, especially wheat. Emphasis is placed on bargaining between the Australian and British governments over the tonnage to be allocated to Australia. At the end of the war the Line’s obsolescent ships and its need for greater public investment was not welcomed by the Commonwealth government. The article concludes with a discussion of the decline of the Commonwealth Line after 1918 and emphasizes the role of the British shipping cartel and labor costs in its demise.

THE NEED FOR MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR GOVERNMENT PLANNING STRATEGIES TO PREPARE FOR THE ENHANCED GREENHOUSE EFFECT
B. Henderson-Sellers & A. Henderson-Sellers
Pages: 304-319

ABSTRACT

There is a growing realization that the greenhouse-induced warming of the planet and the intensification of the hydrological cycle will have a significant impact on human society and its economic infrastructure. The significance of the effects for Australia, and for any other community in the world, will depend upon how government agencies and planners prepare for the consequences of these predicted changes. Governments need considerable help with any decision process associated with a long-term issue such as greenhouse. Availability of information (both accurate and complete) is of crucial importance if governments are to be expected to develop national (and polynational) strategic plans to ensure the continuation of, and development of, an acceptable lifestyle over the coming decades and centuries. In this paper, the authors present the scientific and planning background to the proposal for an integrated greenhouse data management system (IGDMS) and we briefly note some policy and planning options. The IGDMS proposed here is a first step in providing government departments with the decision support/management information systems required to face the global change challenges of the next century.

THE LOW DOWN ON HIGH TECH DOWN UNDER, OR THE PLAIN PERSON’S GUIDE TO THE MULTIFUNCTION POLIS
Ian Inkster
Pages: 320-330

ABSTRACT

This paper examines conditions of Australian acceptance for the multifunction polis (MFP). A specific physical location has taken the place of the earlier network concept. Other characteristics are: the MFP will be an entrep[obreve]t; it will export information, produce and institutional modes; and it must serve as an environmental tariff wall. For Japan the MFP can contribute to technological ‘catch-up’ and serve the dual function of improving Japan’s international and cultural image as well as focussing information transfer to Japan. For Australia the MFP can facilitate industrial restructuring by providing an innovating institutional environment for manufacturing innovation and production, with a possible increase in foreign investment and venture capital. This restructuring link is problematic due to external uncertainties. Key issues are urban location, internationalisation, the centrality of high-tech, contracted employment, internal organization, the position in the technological system, and the decision making process.

CURRENT TRENDS IN RESEARCH POLICY
David Phillips & Aat Vervoorn
Pages: 331-344

ABSTRACT

The major research policy issues being addressed in Australian higher education arise from problems common to all developed countries and cannot be understood purely in terms of local circumstances. In the immediate future there is likely to be more rather than less emphasis on the competitive allocation of resources, selectivity and concentration in funding, and the setting of research priorities. These trends, together with growth in postgraduate research training, will encourage movement towards a method of funding higher education in which the research and research training functions of institutions are more explicitly identified and there is greater reliance on targeted research funding.

Review article
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES: TO AUTOMATE OR TO INFORMATE?
Greg J. Bamber
Pages: 345-355

THE ACCORD AND PRODUCTIVITY IN THE AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING SECTOR
John Burgess
Pages: 356-359

ABSTRACT

Productivity enhancement is at the forefront of the current programmes of microeconomic reform and award restructuring. However, the combination of the effects of the Accord, high real interest rates and restrictive demand management policies are constraining labour productivity growth. Technical progress in the Accord period has been largely capital augmenting, a reversal of earlier trends. The implication is that productivity growth is likely to be low in the future despite the emphasis of current supply side policy measures.

Book review
The Space Telescope: A Study of NASA Science, Technology and Politics by Robert W. Smith, P.A. Hanle, R.H. Kargon, and J.N. Tatarewicz (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 1989), pp xviii + 478, $A90.00, ISBN 0-521-26634-5
Michael A. Dopita
Pages: 360-361

Book review
Ethics of New Reproductive Technologies: The Glover Report to the European Commission by Jonathan Glover and others (Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb, 1989), pp. ix + 159, ISBN 0-87580-147-1
Romaine Rutnam
Pages: 361-363

Book review
Global Trade: The Revolution Beyond the Communications Revolution edited by Bruno Lanvin (IDATE, Montpellier, France, 1989), pp. 232, ISBN 2-908335-02-6
Andrew Farran
Pages: 364-365

Book review
It Did Happen Here: Recollections of Political Repression in America by Bud Schultz and Ruth Schultz (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1989) ISBN 0-520-06508-5
Marcus Einfeld
Pages: 365-368

Book review
Gene Dreams: Wall Street, Academia and the Rise of Biotechnology by Robert Teitelman (Basic Books Inc., New York, 1989) pp. xii + 237, US$19.95, ISBN 0-465-02659-1
Karen Dawson
Pages: 369-370

Book review
The First Electronic Computer: The Atanasoff Story by Alice R. Burks and Arthur W. Burks (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1988), pp. xii + 387, ISBN 0-472-10090-4
Chris Sauer
Pages: 371-373

Book review
Your Word is My Command: Towards an Australian Capability in Human-Computer Interface Design by the Australian Science and Technology Council (Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra, 1990) pp.vi. + 109, ISBN 0-644-12571-3
John W. Houghton
Pages: 373-375

Book review
Technological Change in the Information Economy by Peter Monk (Pinter Publishers, London 1989), pp. 199, £25.00, ISBN 0-8617-713-6
Lyne Thomas
Pages: 375-378

Book review
The Age Of Electronic Messages by John G. Truxal (The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 1990), pp. 482, ISBN 0-262-20074-0
Tony Montgomery
Pages: 378-380

Book review
Public Communication: The New Imperatives by Marjorie Ferguson (ed.) (Sage, London 1990), pp.xii + 210. ISBN 0 8039 8268 2 (pbk) 0 8039 8267 4 (cased)
Richard Collins
Pages: 381-384

Book review
Models of Thought, Volume II by Herbert Simon (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1989) pp.xviii + 508, ISBN 0-300-04230-2
Michael Patkin
Pages: 385-387

Book review
A History of Japanese Economic Thought by Tessa Morris-Suzuki (Cambridge, London and Oxford, Routledge and Nissan Institute For Japanese Studies, 1989), ISBN 0415 012 64 3
Martin Fransman
Pages: 387-389

Book review
Time in History: The Evolution of Our General Awareness of Time and Temporal Perspective by Gerald J. Whitrow (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988), pp. x + 217, $39.95, ISBN 0-19-215361-7
Joshua Gans
Pages: 390-393

Book review
Wage Justice: Comparable Worth and the Paradox of Technocratic Reform by Sara M. Evans and Barbara J. Nelson (The University of Chicago Press, 1989), pp. xiv + 224, ISBN 0-226-22259-4
Margaret J. Nowak
Pages: 393-395

Book review
Telecommunications Policy and Management by John M. Harper (Pinter Publishers, London, 1989) pp. XIV + 209, £28.00, ISBN 0-86187-798-5
J. R. de Ridder
Pages: 395-396

Book review
Human Communication as a Field of Study Selected Contemporary Views edited by Sarah Sanderson King (State University of New York Press, New York, 1989), pp. xiv + 282. ISBN 0-88706-986-X
John Sinclair
Pages: 396-398

Book review
The MFP Debate: A Background Reader edited by Ross E. Mouer and Yoshio Sugimoto (La Trobe University Press, Bundoora, Victoria, 1990), pp. vii + 166, pbk $19.95, ISBN 1-86324-402-6
Deborah Clarke & Thomas Mandeville
Pages: 398-401

Book review
Economics and Institutions: A Manifesto for a Modern Institutional Economics by Geoffrey M. Hodgson (Polity Press, Cambridge, 1988), pp. xviii + 365, 10.95, ISBN 0-7456-0277-0
Joshua Gans
Pages: 401-404

Book review
Wisdom, Information, and Wonder: What is Knowledge For? by Mary Midgley (Routledge, London and New York, 1989), pp. x + 275, $US27.50, ISBN 0-415-02829-9
John Peet
Pages: 405-406

Book review
Trading Places: How We Allowed Japan to Take the Lead by Clyde V. Prestowitz Jr. (Basic Books, New York, 1988), pp. xvi + 365, US$19.95, ISBN 0-465-08680-2
Page: 406

Book review
Between MITI and the Market: Japanese Industrial Policy for High Technology by Daniel I. Okimoto (Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 1989), pp. vx + 267, US$27.50, ISBN 0-8047-1298-0
A. D. Weir
Pages: 406-410

Book review
Notes on the Underground by Rosalind Williams (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1990), pp. xi + 265, ISBN 0-262-23145-X
Stuart Macdonald
Pages: 410-412

Screening Mammography Technology (Australian Institute of Health, Health Care Technology, Series No. 3, Canberra, 1990), pp. v + 22, $2 postage and handling charge. ISBN 0-642-15379-5
Page: 413

Tinted Lenses in the Treatment of the Reading Disabled by A.R. Lea and D.M. Hailey (Australian Institute of Health, Canberra, 1990), pp. v + 33. $2 postage and handling charge. ISBN 0-624-153426
Page: 413

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Services (National Health Technology Advisory Panel, May 1990), $2 postage and handling charge. ISBN 0-642-15429-5
Page: 413

MRI Assessment Program Final Report (National Health Technology Advisory Panel, August 1990), $2 postage and handling charge. ISBN 0-642-15556-9
Page: 414

NEWS
Page: 414