Policy Sciences

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 231-248

First online:

Inequity in the distribution of science and technology outcomes: a conceptual model

  • Barry BozemanAffiliated withDepartment of Public Administration and Policy, University of Georgia Email author 
  • , Catherine P. SladeAffiliated withDepartment of Public Administration and Policy, University of Georgia
  • , Paul HirschAffiliated withThe Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

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We propose a conceptual model to encourage systematic analysis of social equity issues of science policy. The model considers the relationships among several attributes of science and technology goods and services including the incidence of its impact, degree of concentration, and whether its consumption generates capacity for the individual or groups or is “hedonic,” that is, short term and diminishing rapidly in its effects. We discuss the implications of the model in terms of four quite different types of equity. We conclude by suggesting some respects in which the model could be employed to facilitate public policy and moral deliberations about the effects of science and technology.


Science and technology policy Equity Public values