Journal Article - Research Policy

How Technoscientific Knowledge Advances: A Bell-Labs-Inspired Architecture

Key Takeaways

  • We propose a new architecture for how technoscientific knowledge advances.
  • The architecture maps to the actual operational practice of research and development.
  • All mechanisms of the architecture were nurtured at the iconic Bell Labs.

Abstract

Understanding how science and technology advance has long been of interest to diverse scholarly communities. Thus far, however, such understanding has not been easy to map to, and thus to improve, the operational practice of research and development. Indeed, one might argue that the operational practice of research and development, particularly its exploratory research half, has become less effective in recent decades. In this paper, we describe a rethinking of how science and technology advance, one that is consistent with many (though not all) of the perspectives of the scholarly communities just mentioned, and one that helps bridge the divide between theory and practice. The result is an architecture we call “Bell's Dodecants,” to reflect its six mechanisms and two flavors, and their balanced nurturing at Bell Labs, the iconic 20th century industrial research and development laboratory.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Narayanamurti, Venkatesh and Jeffrey Y. Tsao. How Technoscientific Knowledge Advances: A Bell-Labs-Inspired Architecture.” Research Policy, (May 2024) .

The Authors