Topic Thread:      Technology & Science   »   Technology Institutes, Science Academies & Science Foundations

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Technology Institutes, Science Academies & Science Foundations

Institutes of technology, science academies, science foundations and other technology and science agencies and organizations are created by governments, business and industry, educational institutions, consumer groups and combinations thereof. Some technology institutes and science foundations are tied directly to the founding bodies, some are adjuncts, and others are entirely autonomous. Institutes of technology and science academies and foundations serve a variety of functions, usually defined in a mission statement and often further expanded upon in a goals or vision statement. Some of these functions may include:
  • Promotion of education, research, development and commerce in technology and science, either within specific fields or over a broad spectrum of disciplines, depending upon the mandate of the organization;
  • Funding of technological and scientific research and development efforts;
  • Encouraging development of career opportunities in technology and science and facilitation of job placement within various technology and science disciplines;
  • Raising public awareness of technological and scientific issues, challenges or hazards or bringing a particular aspect of technology or science to the forefront of the public consciousness;
  • Serving as a watchdog or monitor for technology industries and technology research to insure compliance with safety procedures, ethical standards and codes of conduct;
  • Lobbying lawmaking bodies for enactment of laws either favorable to the technology industry and the scientific community or restrictive to specific aspects of technology development.
Institutes of technology, science academies and science foundations in the private sector are most often non-profit entities, but may also be for-profit companies such as think tanks engaged in furthering specific technology industries and research segments or scientific research and technology development in general. Technology institutes, science academies and science foundations may be regional, national or international in scope and influence.

It should be noted that some organizations which prominently display in their titles the words institute or foundation coupled with technology or science may not be legitimate scientific or technology-based organizations at all, but may instead be engaging in shady pseudo-science, sometimes containing religious undertones beneath its surface, or bogus “cutting edge technology” scams.

Pseudo-science and technology scam organizations are sometimes difficult to identify, as they may sponsor a limited amount of genuine or feigned scientific or technology research in order to maintain their cloak of authenticity. A few ways to identify these organizations are that they are most often non-profit, are heavily engaged in fund-raising, are always “close to a breakthrough” but never quite seem to get there, usually focus on a single research or technology concept that is “revolutionary”, and possess an eloquent spokesperson. Unfortunately, the same may be true of bona fide technology and science organizations. Often the best way to identify technology or science shams is to investigate the people behind the organization as well as organizational affiliations.

Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 21 August 2005.

Follow links to the right to learn more about multi-disciplinary institutes of technology, science academies, science foundations, and other technology and science organizations. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to institutes, agencies and organizations dedicated to specific technology and science disciplines. View the Technology & Science SiteMap for a complete list of technology and science-related topics.

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