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Some Critical Episodes in the Progress of Medical Innovation: An Anglo-American Perspective

Nov 2008
Working Paper
08-008
By  Nathan Rosenberg
The central concern of this paper is to show that medical innovations have depended heavily on breaking down barriers that have long prevailed in the academic world, in the form of disciplinary boundaries that have coalesced into separate departments. In the longer run, this sharp distinction between Life Sciences and Physical Sciences may be the basis for excessively narrow and inappropriate policy recommendations. The reason is that so many of the fundamental breakthroughs have come from outside of what we now call the Life Sciences; to be specific, some of the biggest breakthroughs for the Life Sciences have come from the realm of the Physical Sciences.