Francisco Sagasti

The present study attempts to provide a frame of reference to examine the prospects for the development of science and technology in developing countries during the first two decades of the 21st century. This essay begins by presenting the main components of the conceptual framework and the outline of an explanatory scheme that would link the various components of the alternative model in an organic fashion. It then offers a brief historical perspective describing the evolution of speculative knowledge, the changes in technology base and the transformation of productive and service activities. The third part examines the emergence of the knowledge society in the second half of the 20th century, describing its main characteristics and implications, before turning to a simultaneous and paradoxical phenomenon: the knowledge divide. Several strategies and policies at the national and international level are proposed for bridging the knowledge divide. This is followed by an analysis of progress and development. The paper concludes by drawing out main directions for developing countries and implications in the post-Baconian age.

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