Autonomy and Accountability for Twenty-first-century Science
The need for autonomy for science in the knowledge society is often justified in economic terms. Autonomy is seen as the source of creativity and innovation; scientists need to be left free to explore whatever leads they want if they are going to think new things. A n d the knowledge-based economy needs new thoughts. A knowledge-based economy depends on breakthrough products and technologies. If it merely improves incrementally on what it is already producing, it will rapidly lose competitive edge, as new product areas are opened up. So it needs innovation and creativity on the part of its knowledge-procedures just to stay alive.