UNU-MERIT Workshop: 13-14 January 2016
Organisers: Lili Wang (UNU-MERIT) and Ismael Rafols (Ingenio, CSIC-UPV & SPRU, Sussex)
Location: UNU-MERIT conference room (R. 0.16 & 0.17)
This workshop aims to stimulate reflection on the challenges posed to Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) indicator design and use in geographical, cognitive or social spaces that are peripheral or marginal to the centres of economic, scientific or technological activity. We propose to identify, describe and analyse the problems that emerge in situations and spaces where indicators are used beyond their scope of validity.
The workshop will consider various perspectives and types of peripheral spaces. In the global economy, some geographical regions are often conceived as peripheral. Developing countries have long been described as ‘the’ peripheries, but within every geographical territory we can also encounter peripheral zones (e.g., Southern European and Eastern European countries as peripheral to the European Union).
We can also refer to peripheral social groups: the disenfranchised, the poor, or perhaps the elderly. Research and innovation conducted in these spaces may require different types of indicators from the ones we are accustomed to use. There are also cognitive peripheries: areas of research that do not capture the attention of mainstream politicians and receive more limited resources.
Each of these peripheries may be better analysed using tailored indicators, some of which can be of a qualitative rather than quantitative nature. However, analysts often face resource limitations to develop indicators tailored to the peculiarities of their context and are confronted with the potential use of conventional indicators –which are not fully suited to reflect these contexts. The use of such indicators may result in inadequate analysis and unintended effects.
This exploratory workshop aims to inform and help prepare the 2016 S&T Indicators Conference (www.sti2016.org), focused on the theme ‘Peripheries, frontiers and beyond’, to be held in València (Spain) on 14-16 September 2016.