On Science Policy
Y SHEININ, SCIENCE POLICY: PROBLEMS AND TRENDS, Progress Publication. Moscow, 1978, pp 381. Rs. 6.50.
IN analysing the problems of science policy the author musters a wide range of specialist literature and an array of facts. The book describes the emergence and development of science policy in the Soviet Union, examines the prpblcms of interaction of science and politics in the context of the twentieth century scientific and technical revolution, relationship between man and organization of science and technology, the structure and functions of science centres and institutions and analyses the Soviet system of science planning and organization. An important feature of the book is a comparison of the 60-year Soviet experience with that of the United States of America and other countries in an exhaustive manner. The central theme around which the main text has been built is that a planned economic system provides a favourable atmosphere for a balanced scientific "development and social harmony. This Sheinin proves by providing data on scientific activitity which show that the Soviet Union has outstripped the United States of America, one of the most developed capitalist countries. The author rightly proves that to realize the concept of human essence it is necessary to assist ontology by technology and the tool of science policy strategy and not the other way round as in the United States.
Sheinin has discussed the science policy problems exhaustively but the trends are treated superficially. This part is very weak though the title claims to present the trends. Research emphasis in the eastern and western countries differs but there are some similar interests which the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESO) has categorized into 16 fields.