thanks @Gavin. i have read crawfords’ articles and nielsen’s book wikipedia description that you shared, as well as more on the book though google.
given funding is also my preoccupation (see my open science tv post reply, and my masters degree is on education funding), i read all of this with great interest.
you are right when you say that it is u.s centric. i would add that it is also ‘western’ and ‘neoliberal’ centric, given the references provided in crawford’s articles, and the thrust of analysis in all the articles and book.
i wonder if the discussion would benefit from this recent interview jacobin interview (1) with mirowski (who also has written a critical article on open science - which i think directly criticises nielsen’s thesis in his book), and piketty’s newly released book, capital and ideology, as understood from this review by fazi (2).
for example, for research funding, the reason for u.s last century’s dominance was actually the gathering of brilliant minds and the effectively unlimited funding given to them. depending on perspective, it could be fortunate or unfortunate that these unlimited funding occurred under the umbrella of military research (including the space race - which gave us so many of our current technology).
this century, china is repeating this model. find briliant minds and provide them with effectively unlimited funding in areas deemed strategic (e.g. ai). theyy initially had difficulty with scientific integrity, but have realized their mistakes, and changed their policies. it remains to be seen whether these policies are effective.
mirowski said in the interview that the neoliberal thinkers were essentially told that they would have unlimited funding for research and dissemination, and hence we get the world that we are in now, where neoliberal principles and practice dominate.
as for piketty, fazi stated that he suggested that every individual be given a significant capital endowment (100 thousand for u.s context). now i’ve known and advocated this idea for a long time as ‘baby bond’ and ‘stakeholder society’, and am happy that piketty is shining a new spotlight on it.
add to the idea of 3 universal basics (jobs, income, services), and 1 universal jubilee (debt), you can imagine that the issue of scientific and knowledge funding be put to where it primarily belongs: the national state.
given that we know now that money can be freely created by the state at the national level (see the countless discussion on mmt even on mainstream media) to increase productive capacity and productivity, including in scientific and knowledge endeavors, we really have an effective rethoric and realistic proposal to replace the current neoliberal funding predicaments, especially given the context of today’s many crisis, inluding health (pandemic) and existential (climate).
what left is how to distribute the productivity gain, which mazucatto and friend has discussed about in their recent paper (3).