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Journal Abstracts #13: November 14, 2001


Journal Name: Prometheus, Volume 5, Number 1, June 1987



Australian Science and Industry between the Wars
by J. Buckley-Moran
This paper is concerned with the early development of Australian's industrial technology infrastructure. It will attempt, in an exploratory rather than conclusive way, to establish a somewhat difference perspective on the institutional development of science and technology in Australia. By drawing a specific case study - the power struggle between the Munitions sector and CSIR - it is argued that industrial R & D became disconnected from the economic planning function of the State, and that under CSIR's aegis IR & D became an item of conspicuous consumption rather than a strategic investment of secondary industry.
science and technology, agriculture, Australian industry, CSIR, munitions sector, R & D

Just Another Piece of Plastic for Your Wallet: the 'Australian Card' Scheme
by Roger Clarke
During 1985-87 the Australian Government developed a proposal for a national identification scheme. With public concern about the scheme's implications increasing, the Australia Card Bill was defeated in the Senate in November 1986 and again in April 1987. This paper outlines the proposal, and comments on its technical features, its economics, its implications and its prospects.
Australia Card, identification, national identification scheme, government data systems, computerised database, data surveillance

Innovation and Health Expenditures: Some Empirical Results for a Diagnostic Technology
by D. P. Doessel
There is debate on whether the adoption of new medical technologies has been a contributing factor to rising health expenditures. This literature is critically review3d and another approach is advocated. This alternative approach rests on the distinction between product and process innovations. It is argued that the relationship between innovations and health expenditures can be illuminated, for process innovations, by determining if they are used as substitutes. The empirical results provide no indication that alternative technologies for diagnosing diseases/conditions of the upper gastrointestinal tract have been utilised by Australian medical practitioners, operating on a fee-for-service basis, as substitutes. The study provides new empirical support for the view that medical innovations contribute to rising health expenditures.
health expenditure, medical technology, substitutes, complements, diagnostic tests

Australian Manufacturing Industry: Third Time Lucky?
by D. H. Solomon and T. H. Spurling
The title of this paper "Australian Manufacturing Industry - Third Time Lucky?" carries with it the implication that Australia has had two previous attempts at establishing a manufacturing industry in which we failed to achieve the success we desired. We will examine some of the historical and economic reasons for this failure and use this analysis to indicate how we can establish a viable export-oriented manufacturing industry in Australia.
Australian manufacturing industry, R & D, CSIR, technology, economics

Patent Reform in Australia
by D. McL.Lamberton
To foster discussion this paper reproduces, with the permission of the Minister's office, the statement by the Minister of Science when releasing the Government's response to the report of the Industrial Property Advisory Committee on patent reform in Australia, together with the official detailed comparison of IPAC recommendations and that response.
patents, innovation, competition, industrial property, compulsory licensing, patent term, patent information, employee's inventions, Australian economy

Invention and Innovation in Australia: the Historian's Lens
by Ann Moyal
There is a strong body of opinion that Australian's present technological achievement and poor attitudes to high technology development remain essentially "colonial." This notion is a misconception. An overview study of some 100 inventors, technologists, and entrepreneurs indicates that vigorous attitudes to innovation prevailed in the Colonies in the nineteenth century and established for Australia some significant technological leads. Lessons from these attitudes both underline the continuing importance of the 'lone inventor; and hold relevance for education, management, and technology policies today.
invention, innovation, manufacturing, industry, technology policy, management, attitudes

The Evolving Technology of Vermin Control in Colonial Australia
by Jack Thompson and John Perkins
Settlers in colonial Australia resorted initially to traditional methods of vermin control inherited from Europe, namely, trapping and hunting. The magnitude of the problem required eventually the development of novel, more sophisticated and consistently more costly technologies.
trapping and hunting, colonial Australia, vermin control, dingoes, kangaroos, rabbits, fencing

Trade Unions, New Technology, and Industrial Democracy in Australia
by Ray Markey
Internationally, two basic strategies have been adopted for the macro-management of the industrial relations issues arising from recent technological change. The first has been one of tripartite consultative planning, whereas the second has allowed "market forces" a free hand in determining the nature of technological change in industry. Since 1983 Australia has begun to shift from the second to the first approach, because of changes in the political and legal climate, and in the strategy of the ACTU and some important unions. Nevertheless, the impact of these changes is gradual.
trade unions, technology, industrial democracy, ACTU, telecommunications

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