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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Historian, mesaure thyself: innovation in social science Event

15:45 - 18:45
15 May 2012
Building 37, Room 4049

For more information regarding this event, please email Sarah Dack at .

Event details

In this lecture, Professor Floud will discuss the central importance which governments now give to innovation as a justification for funding research and as a major stimulus to economic growth. Most attention is given to innovation in manufacturing, although the economies of all OECD countries are mostly based on services, whose productivity has been rising at least as rapidly as manufacturing.

The lecture discusses the ideology and measurement problems which have led to this situation. It also argues that this concentration on manufacturing devalues services and the social sciences which are both service industries themselves and also analyse problems which are not amenable to mechanical solutions.

The lecture considers the nature of innovation in a social science, that of economic history. It discusses measures of output and productivity and the contribution of ICT. The focus is on four case-studies, which have together transformed our understanding of the growth of the British economy since 1700 and analyses these innovations and the people and institutions which contributed to them. Finally, it draws conclusions for public policy.

This lecture will start at 16:15pm (refreshments from 15:45pm) A drinks reception will be held afterwards from 17:30pm

Speaker information

Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBS,Provost of Gresham College

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