There is no doubt that science and technology are closely related –in fact, much popular commentary treat them as synonyms. There can also only be limited doubt that science and technology (“Industrialism”) are distinct and interactive perhaps best captured in the quote

Physical Science and Industrialism may be conceived as a pair of dancers, both of whom know their steps and have an ear for the rhythm of the music. If the partner who has been leading chooses to change parts and to follow instead, there is perhaps no reason to expect that he will dance less correctly than before. A. J. Toynbee

The seminar will utilize recent theoretical and empirical research by the presenter to address (and lead discussion of) several questions:

  1. What distinguishing characteristics allow us to recognize each of the “dancers”?
  2. What empirical study of the “dance” is possible?
  3. What is the most valuable output of the “dance”?

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the effects the details of the science/technology dance has on complexity of the economics of technological change.

About the speaker

Professor Christoper Magee

Professor Christopher Magee (PhD, MS, MBA, BS) is an Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow at INET and Professor at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society at MIT. He has been with MIT for 18 years but earlier spent twice that time at Ford Motor Company first doing fundamental scientific research, and then doing and managing various other aspects of the spectrum of activities involved in technological change (applied research, product development, systems architecting, merged applied/fundamental research, computational engineering, manufacturing development, etc.). Most of his research at MIT has involved measuring, modeling and predicting technological change and its social impact.


Research Programmes