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    Aeon | Steven Shapin | 10/12/20 | 26 min
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    Aeon
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    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      1 month ago

      Organisations should be designed to induce scientists from different disciplines to focus on a common project; to keep them talking to each other while maintaining ties with their home academic disciplines; and to get them to concentrate on commercially relevant projects while permitting enough freedom to ‘stare out the window’ and to think ‘blue sky’ thoughts. If you want profits, then – it was widely conceded – one price you pay is a significant amount of intellectual freedom, allowing the scientific workers to do just what they wanted to do, at least some of the time. The one-day-a-week-for-free-thought notion is not the recent invention of Google; it goes back practically forever in industrial research labs, and its justification was always hard-headed.