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Exploring challenges for New Big Science: The realization of ESS and MAX IV in Lund

Research project in Economic Geography

Project's title: Exploring challenges for New Big Science: The realization of ESS and MAX IV in Lund

Project's duration: 2014-2015

Contact person: Josephine Rekers


The aim of this Pufendorf theme (2014-2015) is to contribute empirically, analytically and theoretically to the understanding of New Big Science by investigating central challenges and opportunities in the realization of the two multidisciplinary natural science facilities, MAX IV and ESS. The development of New Big Science demonstrates the persistent demand for large-scale science facilities and also shows the dramatic change from what has earlier been named Big Science.

Big Science originally grew from a collaboration whose major partners were the U.S. government, military, and academe. In the New Big Science, the scientific focus has been broadened dramatically and in the process, ties with industry have strengthened while those with the military have withered. Along the way, the scope of stakeholders has widened and the scale and scope of collaborations has shifted to versatile, multi-disciplinary user facilities.

In her sub-project, Josephine combines her interest in urban and regional dynamics with the role of place in New Big Science. If the ESS and MAX IV are expected to perform as hubs from which knowledge spills into the economy, leading to technological innovation and economic growth, this would first require certain organizational and institutional conditions to be in place.

This project aims to trace the ambitions and processes of embedding these facilities in the region, and consists of two parts. The first takes stock of the inter-organizational networks that are emerging in the region, after which the second traces in-depth three ‘intermediary’ organizations that seek to connect big science facilities with industry and university.

Project's website