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CentrePiece article
Threats to scientific progress, past and present
Alessandro Iaria, Carlo Schwarz and Fabian Waldinger
July 2018
Paper No' CEPCP530:
Full Paper (pdf)

CentrePiece 23 (2) Summer 2018

JEL Classification: O3; N3; N4; O31; O5; N30; N40; J44; I23

Tags: frontier knowledge; scientific production; international knowledge flows; ww1

A US boycott of Chinese researchers, as threatened by the Trump administration, could stifle scientific progress and technological innovation. That is the concern of Alessandro Iaria, Carlo Schwarz and Fabian Waldinger, whose research looks at the period between 1914 and 1926, when Allied scientists were cut off from their peers in Central countries – with damaging consequences for world science. Their study reveals how the interruption of international knowledge flows, as a result of the First World War and its aftermath, led to stark declines in the production of research deemed worthy of a Nobel prize nomination. Barriers to international scientific co-operation slow down the production of basic science and its application in new technologies. In contrast, policies that widen access to frontier research could benefit society beyond the confines of science itself.

This article summarises 'Frontier Knowledge and Scientific Production: Evidence from the Collapse of International Science', Alessandro Iaria, Carlo Schwarz and Fabian Waldinger, CEP Discussion Paper No. 1506, October 2017