Ming Ivory

James Madison University
Integrated Science and Technology

MSC 4310 ISAT Dept.
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA

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My research agenda could be described as Science and Technology Policy in the United States and Developing World. I focus on two areas: Telecommunications Policy, and Environmental Policy and Regulation, especially the issue of corporate disclosure within the United States. I am also currently looking at Institutional review Boards in the local hospital context, at the development of Iranian telecom policy during the brief, but dramatic administration of Sadegh Ghotbzadeh at the beginning of the Iranian Revolution, and at the teaching of "social context" in applied science programs.

Ivory, Min. 1998. "Doctrines of Science, Technology and Development Assistance." Alternatives 23: 321-374, 1998
Abstract: This Article provides an overview of post-WWII doctrines concerning the design of science policy assistance, or what I call S&T4D (science and technology for development). While the primary purpose is to bring together in one place the relevant literature in order to revive interest in the S&T4D dilemma, the article also illustrates how deeply beliefs about the scientific nature of its own culture have colored Western prescriptions for others. As the united States tends to link the history of its own social and economic development with the benefits accruing from a scientific culture, it has, despite skepticism, continued to seek effective forms for assistance in science and technology alongside the usual programs of food and medical relief. Discussions of S&T4D fall roughly into four types, which I call the Lab-bench, Structuralist, Dependency, and Cultural Compatibility doctrines. Presented here in rough historical order, they are all still prevalent today, providing the framework within which practitioners discuss the science and technology systems of developing countries. …Each doctrine has something different to say about the basic elements of science policy. The doctrines also hold to different conceptions of what development is and ought to be, and also to different epistemologies of science. In distinguishing among them, we can look first at how the science and technology structures of developing countries are described (initial considerations), including explanations of how the structures evolved. Statements about what exists and how it came to be are typically supplemented by some vision of what desirable institutions and processes are necessary for a healthy science and technology system. Finally, writers usually translate their understanding of what exists and what is desirable into policy recommendations, both for the developing countries themselves and for the aid-donor countries.
Ivory, Ming. 2003. "The Social Context of Applied Science: A Model Undergraduate Program." Annals of the American Association of Political and Social Science 585, January 2000
Abstract: The Article justifies the inclusion of social context in innovative undergraduate applied science programs. It proposes a model social context program, distinguishing it from two inferior strategies that expose students to a range of social disciplines at too elementary a level or rely on unsystematic anecdotal work experiences of science faculty confronting regulatory events. The article describes stresses associated with implementing the model program. Finally, it discusses the relationship of the model program to trends in higher education. A social context curriculum should explore the tensions between knowledge and power and give students practice in institutional design. It should encourage both engagement and skepticism. Graded case studies, simulations, senior projects and experiential elements should be used to introduce a typology of institutional designs and progressively develop students’ individual design repertoires. Implementation stresses come from debates over content, interdisciplinarity, university and departmental governance, and the reform of higher education, generally.
Ivory, Ming. Elite Knowledge and Public Consensus: The Elements of Political Economy in High Tech Societies. [Textbook for Science Policy or Technology and Society Classes, looking for Publisher]
Abstract: 1. Brief Description The book will be a brief introduction to political and economic processes in the United States [with some comparisons to other nations]. The target audience is undergraduate students NOT majoring in political science or economics, and intelligent general readers. Primarily intended for interdisciplinary science and engineering students, it provides a concise guide to the market forces and political processes that shape regulation of science and technology-based industries. The book is written from the perspective of social design and interest group politics, and intended as handbook or starting point for courses such as "The Social Context of Technology and Science"; "Politics of Science," "Science, Technology and Society", as well as more specialized courses in "Environmental Politics", "Energy Politics., "Regulation of Biotechnology, etc. My approach sees policy [law and regulation] as the creative design process in democracies. Polities try collectively to construct reasonable institutions within the political space characterized by often irreconcilable tension, the most significant one being between elite knowledge and democratic values themselves. Within this space, market forces, ethical theories and the claims of scientists and engineers about nature, physical objects and social realities, contend as separate interests. Laws from Congress, and regulations from federal agencies attempt to reconciles market and political forces with scientific and technological information. They are imperfect, temporary and contingent, yet rational since they command public support and finance, at least in the short term. I intend that the book encourage a critical attitude toward government and corporations while supporting active engagement in public debate and policy-making, without the arrogance that often comes from possession of elite knowledge or political patronage. This book intends to celebrate both scientific rationality, and collective decision-making. Its three major themes are: a. The essential tension among democratic, market and scientific values which underlies all scientific and technological policies, regulatory debates and related adjudication. b. The institutional design processes used to pursue collective values despite the tension, which are rational and creative. c. The celebration of both the activism and respect for collective politics necessary to resolve the tension and solve human problems.

Substantive Focus:
Environmental Policy
Science and Technology Policy PRIMARY
Social Policy
Comparative Public Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History PRIMARY
Policy Process Theory
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation
Policy Analysis and Evaluation