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Title:The South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research: case study of a science and technology development intervention in Africa
Author:Council for Scientific and Industrial Research/1Pretoria
Periodical:Discovery and Innovation (ISSN 1015-079X)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:South Africa
Subjects:research centres
science and technology
Science and state
South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Abstract:This editorial is adapted from a paper originally prepared by CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa) fellows. The paper used the history of the CSIR to explore the questions 'under what circumstances does a nation benefit from a strongly centralized research and development (R&D) capacity?' and 'what are the conditions for its success?' The CSIR was founded in 1945 in order to harness science and technology for the development of South Africa and the benefit of its people. For the first thirty years of its existence it was the pre-eminent R&D institution in the country, spinning off many industries and other institutions and playing a pivotal role in the careers of many researchers. A combination of increasing bureaucratic control and increasing dependence on State funding led to a major restructuring in the mid-1980s, resulting in a more market-focused contract research organization. Despite its strong growth in income since then, especially from nongovernment sources, the CSIR is perceived as having lost technical leadership in many fields. Partly this is a reflection of the strengthening of the broader science and technology community which it helped to create. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]