This program was held in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to the United States.
Even though the pursuit of new knowledge has never been delimited to national borders, the fact that public funds for science are largely in the hands of national authorities acts as a constraint on its international character. Moreover, the private financing of science mostly puts private interests ahead of the common good.
The exceptions are in CERN*, in particle physics, parts of astronomy, and earth sciences (e.g. weather forecasting, ocean studies) and fusion energy. All these are examples of research in so-called “big science” where the costs and infrastructure are beyond the capability of individual countries and where the relevant authorities have no choice but to join forces internationally.
Dr. Gavigan will offer his views on the imprint that three decades of an emerging science policy in the European Union has made on a centuries-old community largely segmented along nation state lines. He will explain the efforts under the “the European Research Area” label to develop a research system which has transnational coherence and meaning. He will also reflect on the potential to strengthen transatlantic Science and Technology links in a similar way, referencing economic and trade implications as much as scientific leadership issues. It’s important to note that the transatlantic corridor accounts for well over half of the world’s Science and Technology output. * The European Organization for Nuclear Research.