Public or Private Economies of Knowledge?

Turbulence in the Biological Sciences

M. Harvey,

Public or Private Economies of Knowledge?: Turbulence in the Biological Sciences
 
 
The 'great divide' between public and private knowledge in capitalism is an unstable frontier at the core of contemporary economic transformations. Based on research in the USA, Europe and Brazil into the cutting-edge of biological science and technology, this book presents a novel framework for understanding this historically shifting fault-line. Over the last quarter century, major controversies have accompanied the dramatic developments in biological science and technology. At critical points, leading commercial companies were poised to take ownership over the human genome and much new post-genomic knowledge. The software tools for analysing the deluge of data also appeared, as did expanding new markets for private enterprise. At the same time, huge new public programmes of biological research were accompanied by radical innovation in the institutions and organisation of public knowledge. Would private marketable knowledge dominate over the new public domain or vice versa? Surprisingly, the dynamism and expansion of the public domain, and new forms of differentiation and interdependence between public and private economies of knowledge, now characterise the landscape.


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