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The Digitalisation of Science, Technology and Innovation

Key Developments and Policies

image of The Digitalisation of Science, Technology and Innovation

This report examines digitalisation’s effects on science, technology and innovation and the associated consequences for policy. In varied and far-reaching ways, digital technologies are changing how scientists work, collaborate and publish. While examining these developments, this book also assesses the effects of digitalisation on longstanding policy themes, from access to publicly funded research data, to the diffusion of technology and its absorption by firms. New and emerging topics are also explored. These include the roles of artificial intelligence and blockchain in science and production, using digital technology to draw on the collective intelligence of the scientific community, advances in the digitalisation of biotechnology, and possible "dark sides" of digitalisation.

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An overview of key developments and policies

Chapter 1 summarises the main themes and policy lessons examined in the rest of the report. It provides background to the broader policy concerns facing OECD countries. It also introduces topics not considered elsewhere in the report, particularly in connection with artificial intelligence in science; using digital technology to deliver skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; possible targets for public research; and blockchain in science. The chapter also discusses potential uses of digital technology for policy making and implementation, mainly linked to various forms of collective intelligence. These essentially untapped opportunities – such as self-organised systems for funding allocation, and prediction markets – might have significant benefits for science, technology and innovation. They invite further study and, possibly, pilot testing.

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