From Becquerel To Nanotechnology: One Century Of Decline Of Scientific Dissemination, Publishing And Technology Transfer
2008 marks the 100th anniversary of Henri Becquerel's death, the discoverer of radioactivity and a leading contributor to the birth of modern physics. In addition to well-deserved celebrations, this offers a chance for a sobering look at scientific dissemination then and now and at the evolution of technology transfer. The facts are shocking: both dissemination and technology transfer were much faster and effective at the time of Becquerel, in spite of all the new communication techniques. I briefly speculate on the causes of these dismal failures, arguing that they are primarily rooted in society, academic management and industrial management - and therefore very difficult to reverse.