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EUROPA - Research and Innovation: What's New in Innovation

Thursday, September 21, 2006

INNOVATION -THE WORTHWHILE PROJECT-Conversational styled, review of science's powerful tool "The Experimental Method" in politics and humanities

Conversation (1) on the Search for a Physics & Chemistry
of Innovation - Reward Systems.
By J. Alexander.
(First published online via ChemWeb 2004)

“The difficult, I can do immediately.
The impossible may take a little time.”
A favourite, joked by A Great Teacher.

“Let knowledge grow from more to more
and thus be human life enriched”
Encyclopaedia Britannica, founded 1768.
200 years on, Wikis invented

A fresh, and hopefully refreshing, conversational styled, review of science's powerful and indispensable tool in humanities search for truth and knowledge, namely the experimental method.
The thread followed is due to B. Labour's proposition to apply the method more generally to the case of Knowledge versus Ignorance by encouraging its use collectively by a much wider spectrum of society, which may be called Innovating Team (IT).
The treatment suggests, not without humour and humility, that the universally acknowledged power of the experimental method, may be used for greatly improved effectiveness, when confronted with problems of a dichotomic nature (mutually opposing and exclusive).
The style, sometimes humorous, sometimes caustic, even poetic at times hopes to make enjoyable, good reading.
By applying a variant of the method Kiss,(Keep It Simple Stupid) three models are described to encourage scientists and non-scientists to map their path in life, within the interacting fields of science and society, both as individuals and together in interdisciplinary communities.

ChemWeb preprint-Science Direct Achive ref. chemistry 0303001.

What others say about the Method Kiss: 1. In The Art of Effective Training,
2. In Engineering. and 3. In Business & Sales.

Bruno Latour in “How to evaluate innovation” (2) develops a fairly simple well argumented procedure based upon the experimental sciences which may prove valuable to those involved in making things work as best as possible. Difficult?
People involved may be but not limited to are: inventing and innovating scientists, project managers and decisional authorities such as non-technical managers or politicians in government,all, henceforth to be called the Innovation Team (IT)) whose aim must be to making things work ‘for the better’!
Impossible? Encyclopaedic certainly, as immortalised by Britannica’s Motto above.

In industrial terms such approaches may be better recognised as being within Total Quality Control or Management System Frameworks.
Herein the difficulty of making things work as best as possible is routine.
The search for excellence, six & more sigma programmes are often spoken of.
But currently, a more than often forgotten aim – to make things work for the better, appears damned well impossible!

Currently- the list is long whatever evaluation yardstick is chosen surpassing strictly industrial concerns. In the present case, I was referring to long-standing calls for proper practice in corporate governance, cf. also Footnote 1. We shall come back to this below (11).

Notions of innovation and experimentation may not always be of popular appeal, judging from jobs and salaries. There are no such job titles in the boardroom or in government, in spite of the abundant managerial press reports and book titles. Perhaps these two words have appeal in management circles but still remain too cerebral and fearful for widespread application and acceptation?

Latour by defining Innovation, simply as a new and worthwhile project, goes a long way on the path he set, to determine a powerful protocol for effective action and as a consequence on any path designed to make things work as best as possible (routine project) or to make things work for the better (a continuous project ever in need of new projects-innovation).

Why such knowledgeable disdain of –‘Le changement dans la continuité’? - ‘ Change through continuity’ or more commonly ‘ the more the change the less.’
The less!
Could the latter be the clue?
Indeed I first learned of these notions not in my physics, chemistry, nor even in my mathematics classes, but upon head changes, within the organisation or strategic (undefined) organisational changes in view of unknown projects, seldom on defined project or concerning project aims, although head counts are common practice.
So much for difficult-to-grasp concepts & unwittingly in defence of common sense -wide spread, by definition and fear pretty well universal. E.F. Schumacher "A Guide for the perplexed"A Guide for the perplexed (3) calls this mapping.
We find strategy and mapping associated in R. S. Kaplan and D. P. Norton’s The Balanced Score Card
(4) included in Harvard Business Review’s Fifteen Key Concepts (5). Strategy, and wait for it, the currently much discussed Sustainability, are defined by Porter also in Key Concepts (5) Project managers and IT candidates please read on. (IT remember stands for Innovation Team and not the more restrictive Information Technology).


According to Prof. Latour, the basic problem that all innovators must face is known as “The Innovators Dilemma” which goes something like this: “When you know you can’t and when you can you don’t know!”

“At the start of the project, the Project Manager knows nothing or next to nothing
of the reactions of the public, the financial people, suppliers, colleagues, all of whom together with machines must be brought together in order that the project may take shape. He can, however, very quickly modify, from A to Z, the nature of his plans in order to respond to his new found clients requirement.”

Latour continues, “at the end of his project, he will know all he should about the resistance of materials, the reliability of components, the quality of sub-contractors, the loyalty of bankers and the passion of his clients, but he can no longer change his plans: Too late, they are moulded in bronze.” The relevance of the situation struck me; pardon the metallurgical references, I am a metallurgist & physical chemist, like the work piece by the forge master to such an extent that the innovators dilemma is again hammered home in Poster 0 – A ‘Zeroth Law’–taking the temperature.

So true! Then I got my wits back.

This dichotomy (two opposing mutually exclusive propositions) is typical of what E.F. Schumacher (3); author of "Small is Beautiful", calls divergent (or open ended) problems.

The best-known divergent problem concerns educational methods of common knowledge to everyone but the most unfortunate under developed regions deprived of this experience:

By opposition, convergent problems can be solved, the more intelligently one studies them the more the answers converge, whoever you are, according to the physical and chemical laws of inanimate nature (3).

The conflicting opposites (an understatement if ever there was one), Knowledge and Ignorance are obviously in the divergent category. Other examples are:
Authority, discipline and obedience versus freedom
Freedom versus order
And relevant to our models:
Growth versus decay.

But lets see, it may be instructive to liken the project manager to the young candidate seeking his first job? He has been confronted from a tender age with parents, family and relatives, friends, relations mostly teachers- not real people-to which most youngsters, at least in adolescence, will readily testify.

At this point it is worth recalling that, teachers apart, this is the very group singled out as ‘THE’ life-long, high priority group of people; Family, Friends and Relation, by management Guru, Stephan R. Covey. Covey is a Harvard graduate and Founding-Director of the Covey Leadership Centre in his very well structured, well illustrated, full of common sense, book (6). By the way, Covey is a teacher.

If this sounds bad for the professional classes, Latour’s world of “financial, industrial, commercial people” not to mention the anxiety confronting the project manager, for the candidate job seeker, this is a disaster.
The learning curve can be made to be very painful and depressing indeed.

Funnily enough and perhaps a trifle cynically, salvation for both project manager and the job seeker, may have similar roots. Fortunate the enterprising youngsters, who have within their family circle some or all of the necessary experienced professionals with the necessary power and inclination!

Now we could be accused of failing in our aim of setting up and evaluating projects which make things work for the better, individually and collectively. The latter when elevated to the level of a strategy is known as a WIN/WIN strategy – a dichotomy in disguise.
The WIN/WIN strategy is the most recommendable challenge in the eyes to Covey (6) who states that high personal qualities of courage, strength and respect of others are pre-requisites necessary to rise above, to transcend (3), the contradictions in order to achieve such an ideal. These qualities are developed through necessarily long, deep, self-knowledge, conscience, imagination, moral integrity and free will. For our purpose, it is sufficient to underline the values of gaining experience and independence.


In the model just outlined:

“The innovator is faced with two intersecting paths or curves, one rising, representing knowledge acquisition, the other descending, representing the degrees of freedom or number of options open to the innovator. Naturally a good environment for innovation consists of a rapid learning curve of the world awaiting the innovator, as rapidly and as inexpensively as possible while closing the options available as tardily as possible.”

Fortunately this is likely to correspond to the natural human desire for freedom and a rewarding life. “The inspired innovator will try to learn as much and as fast as possible while maintaining all options open as far and as long as possible.”

On the basis that a picture is worth a long speech, it is fairly easy to draw up a universal framework (model) for the ideas exposed in (2).
Life being what it is, Time representing Age can be conveniently traced from the beginning, (Zero) to end (1 or 100%) and is represented by the horizontal X-axis.
The Learning and Degrees of Freedom curves can be equally represented qualitatively in the same way from Zero to 1 on the vertical Y-axis.

Thanks to Pareto, now over 150 years of age who bequeathed us the 80/20 Rule and Napier et al’s early worker on ‘Natures natural logarithmic processes’ (400 years ago!) it is possible to draw up the first ideas approach to innovation shown in,
Graph-Model: 1 a ‘ very Classical Model’.
Assuming the same logarithmic evolution (and coupling -dipole bonding, for the chemists among us! Lennard-Jones potentials and such...) for both learning and degrees of freedom and smooth progression slowing but no loss in total learning experience due to age- conveniently ignoring any Bell shaped clangers - it is an incredible coincidence that for an estimated life span of 100 years the 80/20 Rule describes pretty neatly our current formal school education systems in the EU and further a field!

From this it would appear that innovation is distinctly a young persons game. To a large extent this may be true and if so further exaggeration –such as Bell shaped normality- is likely to increase the incandescent nature of the human existence (7) or dare I suggest, experiment?

However either the desire for eternal youth or the pleasure of seeing things work “for the better” would induce one to graph a more “Ideal Innovators Economy” (Graph-Model 2.) whereby all one’s ‘Faculties for Learning’ together with one’s Freedom are conserved throughout.

Wishful thinking or a programme - political objective and agenda? Answers to such questions in fact constitutes the central theme of Latour’s well-referenced exposé.

The ‘Life – Long’ time scale extrapolation in Model 1, may be restated as; How can one make a good thing last? And as such is the sole responsibility of this author’s, dare I say it, ‘Inventive –Unconsumed- Spirit’ further encouraged by selected refs. (3 – 7)

To ensure a steep learning curve (freed from the excessive pressures of and complimentary to…the modern education system) Latour proposes the experimental method. Latour recalls that “this is not as easy as it sounds since it goes against ‘common sense’ embodied in the concept: ‘know before you act’ –not to be confused with the still highly relevant ‘look before you leap’!

“So the good project manager is one who puts into action with the least deviation a plan prepared in the most minute detail. In fact the latter method can only be applied in the most routine cases rarely encountered in real project management. One does not acquire ‘confirmed’ knowledge without action, one acts in order to gain knowledge, preferably in a profitable manner as he justifiably recalls for the benefit of Apprentice Sorcerers”

If I had read the book, I would use the Harry Potter (HP) analogy. I am deeply ashamed of this omission. (corrected since & confirming my intuition)Harry Potter books are an undoubted source of new (universal) models and (global) project ideas by all media reports including financial statements.

“The experimental scientist confronted in permanence with the requirement of confirming or infirming theory and improving upon models (idealised or simplified representations of real phenomena including some witch craft difficult to attribute exclusively to HP) resolves the Knowledge versus Ignorance dichotomy by designing and carrying out an experiment. This is the true sense of the word DO (an experiment) in what is known by industrial engineers, project managers, quality practitioners and administrators as the ‘Deming Circle or Virtuous Spiral’: PLAN => DO =>CHECK=>ACT repeat continually.

Deming was one of the early statisticians who brought quality to the Japanese Economy (8).
A First Law – Post. 1 underscores the “Knowledge vs. Ignorance Dichotomy & presents a modified Deming-Latour Circle,” to include Latour’s protocol.

Cf. Footnote 3-Cautionary note: Four principles of Do-Ing.
(Cultural note: ‘Ing’. is the french abbreviated equivalent of ‘Eng.’ short for engineer)

“Between Ignorance and Knowledge everyone in the laboratory knows the value of an unsuccessful experiment. It can be bungled. It can be non-representative. It can force us to abandon a research route” or even a whole discipline. “Nevertheless it would never cross any one’s mind to act (experiment) without reporting according to a carefully pre-established protocol, the effects of the difficulties encountered,” cf. 2nd Law Post. 2 & 3, Wrong 1st Time, Deming-Latour energy conservation – car-not cycle Then, as if to give unwanted substance to my allusion to thermodynamic entropy in my playful poster title, the Bell Labs. scandal loomed to mind - a unique case? I knew it would be difficult to avoid the Bell shaped curve:

The Bell Shaped Curve:

Not the one of dreams, actually,
With all its ring of normality,
And background skewed tonality,
Neither justifiable of necessity,
Trying so to avoid all criminality,
Oft’ far from proper musicality.

copyright © J.A.

Prof. Latour continues to enquire:

“ Where, in administration, in government or in large companies, are the experimentalists designated to report continually on the results positive or negative of the difficulties encountered by projects in progress, difficulties to which projects are subjected?”

“Who defines the protocol?” “In military terms, who defines the mission debriefing?”

To answer these questions can I tell you that I was one of these experimentalists and my superior(s) carried out the debriefing. It is a delicate task. Like the Mediator(s) on the French TV channel (A2) which offers such a service, the only one of the big 6 in fact, it requires strong, firm and fair support (6) of senior management.
(since extend to all public service TV in France 2006)

It is wise to let negative results speak for themselves as far as possible and rather to seek cooperatively the ‘elementary facts’ - scientific policing distinguishing facts from personalities and highlighting the positive.
The expert in industrial… quality, research and development, quite a portfolio, requires discretionary judgement not to let the situation get out of hand. This may help put the ball back in the court so to speak or put an end to hostilities whatever.

For the still unconvinced, Latour enquires rhetorically:

“Can one imagine a research scientist who never learns any lesson from his mistakes”?

I… often ask myself?

And less unequivocally: “a laboratory which never records it’s results,” unless…?

The crimes of Bell Labs, extremely serious as they were, did not take place in the medical field, I trust?

“Stranger still, what does one do when one does not know, when the certitudes are lacking? Will we design a protocol for ‘serious fiddling and fumbling’?

Fiddling and fumbling with variations,
Mixing and muddling and even juggling
With Time and Temperature and Space,
In order to learn, bit by bit.

Adapted from “From Entropy to Poetry” © J.A. 2002-3

If I may use such technological – terminology as, ‘bit by bit,’

“By working on reduced models, carrying out pilot studies, simulations, representative samples, how can one anticipate the results of future actions?” “No”, concludes Latour, thoroughly disgruntled, “We shall take a decision, a surgically clean cut, a surgical operation.”

Here I add my voice to Latour’s,

Surgical action often costs a bomb, big spender.
Your attitude is ever present, 2003 still tender.
The situation calls for a Life Saver
Could this perchance be a banker?
I do not mean cash hoarding, I thunder,
You looting, plundering, warmongering murderer.

(Notice the curves dreams are made of? “Bell shape curve” rotational transformation, gyrations) Copyright © J.A. Dolphins@) ADA Grp.

In the surgical approach, common sense cumulates both inconveniences: it imagines an engineer who knows before he acts and a politician who decides without knowing. From any ensuing results, nothing is learned. And a new combination of the Innovating Team (IT) will recommence without the necessary cumulative experience. And time goes by, nothing sustainable or durable is achieved.”

Does entropy’s ∆ quantum wave(s),
Universally durable by its very Nature
Require sustainability, my brave(s)?
One can just imagine Dirac's conjecture

Fully realising the requirement for speed in “ fumbling” ones way forward my very brilliant and literally poor sighted, boss for many of my formative years, frequently would pull a coin from his pocket and addressing the protagonists in our admittedly more stressful (for costly) industrial situation. “Heads or tails?” he would calmly enquire.

Left to my own more modest capabilities, I became an adept of the laboratory experimental approach (3) as tentatively exposed herein.

Oh! I must tell you this story. The same chap, my boss, was about 6 feet tall. His short sight gave him naturally enhanced microscopic vision when he removed his spectacles. Well, I shall let you imagine the scene when he stuck a sample, 1cm. distant from his eye, but at least 25cm. above the rest of the team’s heads, then pointing a finger to the sample and exclaiming it’s obvious, look! Then, satisfied of his comprehension of some strange feature was gone before anyone knew what we he had observed. (Footnote 2.)

Scaling up has always been a considerable problem in engineering.

Latour proposes “the creation of a new power which is no longer defined by knowledge, or aptitude for incisive decision making but rather by it’s capacity to follow experimentation underway and to judge the value of the exercise by the quality of learning” In sort of new observer capable of effective management, pragmatic not as a principle but in practise, when need be?

I hope I got that OK.

In this system “a bad (poor) experiment, is not one which fails but one in which nothing is learned (& if possible gained –reported to re-invest) for the next one. Conversely a good experiment is one in which the difficulties appear early on disturbing the apparent evidences upon which the project is based.”
In plain english this is called “cutting one’s losses”.
Cf. 1st & 2nd Laws Posts 1 & 2. (TBD)

Latour calls upon a higher authority to support his proposition in the form of Karl Popper according to whom “the search for falsification is not the prerogative of the laboratory but should be extended to all collective experiences (experimentation) in which one is seriously engaged.”

“This power does not constrain one by decree (laws and orders) to do this or that but by documenting obstinately the learning and which one accepts voluntarily.”

I can add my own strong preference for Auto-discipline, then I am a veteran tried and tested as the aerospace ad-age goes:
“there is no such thing as a good or bad driver only old drivers!”
But the story does not tell whether these old drivers are sending their future students, employees, younger colleagues, and readers, into the wall?

Latour hazards “where angels fear to treadv”, adding his voice, to others, criticising the “Techno-crane” a variation on the Techno-c-rat, “capable of cumulating political ills with scientific and administrative ones with no apparent virtues ”

Latour rightly considers that “there is something intolerable in seeing such capacity to ignore! Technocrats neither pay the price of popular representation nor that of the difficult process (abnegation) of scientific research nor the uncertain follow-up of the evaluation process”.

“However this techno-corporatism, in France at any rate, has the enormous advantage of being powerful. Latour recommends we discard this strange view of the engineer as someone who knows and the politician as someone who disposes and in doing so perhaps forge ourselves a master tool to reform the State.”



It strikes me that Model 3, the Bath-Tubs Model of failure rate for integrated circuits (IC’s) taken from the semiconductor industry, (9) and inversely, the Corned – Hat model of success rate images rather vividly many of the ideas just expressed. Should anyone feel over offended, I hasten to add that in earlier times in Scotland, I too wore something similar. It was familiarly was known as a ‘chip poke’ hat, from the shape of the carry-out recipient for French fries, word discouraged by a certain ‘Oh so certain America.’

Until now he concludes “the French,” Latour is French (and from all reports much of the European Union) “have been inspired by the certitudes of science. It is time that we all find inspiration in the uncertainties of research.”

May I repeat something, which is obvious for the scientific community and the scientifically aware?

The century which has come to a close is one in which a major revolution in science took place; that of quantum physics and chemistry synonymous to some extent, with the famous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

The word uncertainty was out, but paradoxically it brought certitude despite it’s name – certitude through Nature’s lower (nano) limitation around Planck’s Universal constant (h) added to the Speed of light (c) more certitude in the form of an upper limit.

Theory and incredible powers of prediction came from experimental verification and widespread indispensable product manufacturing and much gadgetry.
Both the certitude of boundaries infinitely large and small and ‘for ever and ever’ were being defined, from difficult to grasp theory and experimentation, of great power (nuclear) and finesse, quantum theory, where the speed of light reigns and it’s messenger is a particle called a photon with wave like properties.
Mien Gotte!
Such a situation leads, perhaps even more predictably, to an increasing sense, of individual human helplessness and fragility.

To add slick oil to the fire, quite mature information technology has produced exponential acceleration and shows no sign of any serious technical obstacle.
The power to chose to change has seldom been so potent and yet, so too are the corollaries, conservatism and inertia.
Worse the shadow of change in English is Chop (‘to chop and change’)– Project Managers and Job Seekers - when common sense would dictate action to the contrary, Latour’s main criticism of the powers that be, lack of experimentation and the experimental method.

The innovation team, through information technology and communication is more global, apprenticeship still rife with corporate fear, arrogance and in some instances some megalomania.
Latour’s “power must first gain awareness of experimentation underway, understand and explain and moderate” neither freeze in some death like inertial ignorant bliss
Cf. 3rd Law –Crystal Clear Post 4,
nor hurtle head long into a the predictable, wall or precipice-a mechanical view is illustrated by the famous joke as follows:

“Last year we were at the edge of a precipice!
This year we shall take a large step forward.”
–An imaginary punch line from a Presidential address in an some fictitious,
poorly-developed country or region.

Or worse become the source, the epicentre of some explosive front- a chemical view whose symbol has become, Sept 11. (9/11) and suicide bombers, so despairingly mislead, misguided. -Alfred Nobel must turn in his grave.

And a nuclear one!

“N” as in Nu-clear?
The highest state of strong order, dawning
“et de ce jour bacteries et champignons
jailirent à l’existance pour dissoudre
et un nouveau champignon est né”

(3 lines from J.Updike, Facing Nature, trad.Alain Suid “Ode à la Décomposition”)
Such is Nature – reviewed.

From ‘Entropy to Poetry’ copyright © J.A.

The increasing orders of magnitude for mechanical, chemical and nuclear reactions alluded to in poetic terms, above, are given in ref. (10).

This exposé has reach deep waters, egos perhaps over-inflated, fatigue gaining ground, confusion gaining over clarification (dichotomy a-gain!), but no going back.


Please believe me, I had hoped to avoid the Bell Shapes Curve recalled in Model 3. It came to mind early on suggested by rising and falling exponential curves of our simplified idealised smooth curve Life-Long and Career Wise cycles.

–« La vie n’est pas un long fleuve tranquille,» was the title of a film,

And serious questions concerning the quality and limitations of these system conversations are only too obvious.

But would life today without a bathtub be worth living?

Graph 3 the now classical so-called “bath-tub” model for component reliability especially relevant to semiconductors and integrated circuits (IC’s) recalls our shared shaky start in life.
With the so called highly expressive infant mortality phase, the burn-in phase, representing initially poor reliability, survivors enjoying a long steady state until dropping-out or burn-out.

We have touch upon one recipe for turning failure into success imaged by flipping around a Yield and Reliability Model and complained of the residual cost involved.

This also may serve as a caution to our Innovating Team (IT).

Neither to pretend we collectively did not know… for want of an experiment. Nor to be content with easy to express pictures in guise of serious models not of reality but to help us live, experiment for the better, to enjoy, philosophise, and to share.
No getting of the hook.
Putting my above precepts (Plan) to practise, (Do) I Checked Britannica Ed.1974- 1985 (11) for earlier reports on Innovation.
I did not waste my time!
Let me share a short summary of my findings Post 4 –The 3rd Law – Crystal Clear – Britannica on Innovation.


No engineer, with the knowledge of experience can be satisfied by high infantile mortality (high burn-in loss), for example highlighted, dramatically, here in France at the moment by the issues such as Road Safety, much of which is of an apparently avoidable suicidal unnaturel("contre nature") candidate- unconsciousness,’ and neglect by the most influential members of the Innovation Team.
Recent experimental evidence shows substantial improvement and should encourage reporting.
Unfortunately despite enlargement of the European Union (or because of it?) these lessons and yardsticks are not yet Pan (stick?) EU.
A particular extreme example of burnout and perhaps the ultimate fight for durability is that of Nature’s supreme in-built obsolescence, the deadly component in all of us, Cancer.

“Silence like a Cancer grows.”
From the song “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon.

For if these are serious issues in IC’s they must surely be even more so in life. So, “”Moore”” projects and candidates to meet the challenges. While introducing “Silence» in guise of an ‘Au revoir’ I have just received an invitation to a National Physical Laboratory, NPL (UK) to their workshop on electromagnetic noise measurement theory and applications. On the programme; Noise standards, radiometers, care of connectors, repeatability, amplifier noise, and phase noise. I wonder if phonons with photons are the good vibrations of interest in cancer care and cure? With Armstrong, Lance and Wilson, Matt’s both cyclists in the 2003 tour vanquishers of cancer, Latour de France, Centenary edition is well…on the way to success. (∆S sort of less than zero, Negentropy ?)

Dare I edit Britannica’s Motto?
“Let knowledge grow from ‘Moore to Moore’
and thus be human life (health, environment…) enriched.”
Probably not.
Gordon Moore & Associates, brilliant (IT) experimentalists in their specialised field of semiconductors and integrated circuits-rich in materials science, may find synergy with the encyclopedic approach more adapted to the needs of Latour.
“Let knowledge grow from more to more
and thus be human life enriched.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica, founded 1768 (11).
P. -S. Additional Refs (12, 13) from “Les Echos” FT Grp. 10 July 2003. & (14) indebted to.

The tram is largely inspired by a short essay in a series of articles “Amateur de Science” by B. Latour in La Recherche. The unusual layout for science is from Alistairr Cooke’s Letters from America (1947 to Date) on BBC available for consultation, sharing and discussion via the BBC website, Cooke’s letter is also a thread to the History of the immense power and influence of Ralph Nader already mentioned in Encyclopaedia Britannica, acknowledged throughout and especially in Poster 4. Not forgetting J..E. Harris for his monthly entertaining and instructive column ‘Material Matters’ in Materials World or Bob (R.W.) Cahn in Materials Today and to all committed to the sustainable and durable development of individuals and society through science and engineering, proper business practice and governance.


1). De la Conversation, Theodore Zeldin, Translation en Fraçais, E. Diacon, Ed. Fayard, Original Title in English-Conversation - How it can change peoples lives. Ed. Hidden Springs / Paulist Press.
2). “How to evaluate innovation / Comment Evaluer L’Innovation” by Bruno Latour, Amateur de Science, La Recherche, No 314, 1998.
3). “A Guide for the perplexed”A Guide for the perplexed E.F. Schumacher, Ed. Jonathan Cape 1977 reprinted Abacus 1978 and 1980.

4). “The Balanced Scorecard-Measure that Drive Performance” R.S. Kaplan, D. P. Norton
HBR. Jan-Feb. 1992. (More on the Balanced Score Card?),”More on the Balanced Score Card
5). HBR., “Business Classics – Fifteen Key Concepts for Managerial Success (1998).
6). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey, Ed. Simon & Shuster NY. (1989) French Edition Les 7 Habitudes Ed.. Lavoisier -Tec & Doc First general (1996).
7). L’Incandescent, Michel Serres, Ed Le Pommier, (2003 in French).
8). Many good references to Deming (1900- Univ. Wyoming 1921-), his US and British contemporaries, and the battery of tools built up the by excellent Japanese pupils of the time and since. Shewart (1891-UCLA 1914 -), Juran (1904-Romainian emigrated USA –1914- ) .
The Japanese School- Ishikawa et al.
my lectures in Cross Cultural Management and Total Quality Control, The European University in Toulouse, (1992). Well researched using available local resources.
A good book in french, “La Qualité outils et methods” Patrick Lyonnet,
Ed. Lavoisier Tec & Doc (1997).
9). “VLSI Technology” Ed., S.M. Sze, (Bell Labs), McGraw-Hill Series in Electrical Engineering McGraw-Hill International (1983) In fact this is a book on materials science, materials processing (Si refining , crystal growth, wafer preparation, epitaxy, dielectric and polysilicon thin film deposition, oxidation, diffusion, ion implantation, lithography, dry etching, metallization, process simulation, VLSI process integration, diagnostic analysis and control techniques, assembly & packaging, yield and reliability) all technologies used for manufacturing and control of very large scale integrated (VLSI) circuits.
10). “Skyscrapers need strong legs,” Material Matters, by J.E. Harris, Materials World, Oct-Nov. 2002 .
11). References to Innovation in the Encyclopaedia Britannica Ed. 1985.
12). “L’ Eurosclerose est de retour,” Euro-Sclerosis is back by Erik Izraelewicz, Les Echos 10/07/2003. themes related to the present Conversations. Cf. footnotes 5.
13). “Patrons, cultivez votre jardin / Bosses should tend to their own back garden” by Xavier. Mesnard and Laurent Chevreux, A.T. Kearney, Les Echos 10/07/2003. themes related to the present Conversations cf. footnote 6.
14). The 5th Discipline The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge – Systems approach

Footnote 1:
Yardsticked as abusive corporate governance practice has been boastingly estimated as high as 66% in France, not known to be an innovator but a follower in this field. The boardroom circle still appears disjoint from accepted quality control circle yardsticks and assurance practise?
Footnote 2:
When the late Y. Honnorat left to manage materials for a leading aero-engine manufacturer, it was a challenge and an honour to defend many of the highly contested programmes initiated under his direction.
Footnote 3:
Most Scientists and Engineers: Physicists, Chemists, Metallurgists, Thermodynamicists will recognise elements of phase diagrammes, departures from ideality and much else, whether true or false, stretched, twisted and turned, hopefully it will prove thought provoking
Footnote 3 - Cautionary note:
the Four Principles of Do-Ing: (a pseudo-scientific enquiry):
1.Classical & Biblical-
Do unto others, as you would they do unto you. ‘ Security?’
2. The so called Business principle:
‘Do them before they do you’. ‘Commercial?’
3.The so called Management ModelDo it to them before they do it to you.
Defence? –Attack being the best form!
4.The ‘no-no’ Model
‘Do them in before they do you in! ‘Totally unlawful but…’

Footnote 4: Confusion possible between Brute force and Intelligence.

Footnote 5: Translated exerts related to the present work.
1“Old Europe doubts in herself again. She neglects to spend for the future; on education and research and development and in so doing increases her lag on USA”. Izraelewicz reports on a conservative similarity of the recent European Managers Forun in Helsinki with the EMF in 1980. (I used as a yardstick Britannica’s 15th Edition 1974-1985). And concludes that in an ageing society the elderly impose their will in a decisive way against all spending which designed to prepare for the future “money goes to old age homes not to maternity wards & kinder garden” Decision makers today being closer to the 2nd than the 1st category this is not surprising. Also for the same reason managers and researchers flock to USA to the detriment of European Institutions. EU spends (3% PIB on future) 1.5% of PIB on Universities & 1.5% on R&D. whereas USA spends twice these rates (6%) 3% Univ. & 3% R&D.
Criticism: cf. my graphs concerning early age and formative years a period which is longer than that inferred by a quick reading of Izraelewicz. 20/80 at the very least and perhaps 80/20 is a more modern life-long approach. Model 3 is a very rough 1st approach to defining two areas where special attention is required. This needs refinement and differentiation not ammunition supply for a general conflict of generations. There is much consensus on the abusive power and unwarranted rewards practised at senior management
Footnote 6: All is in the title “ Bosses should tend to their own back garden” so too should they; the competitive advantage theme even if significant (HBR Key Concepts-ref 5 above) is incantation no longer creation and innovation. As for the quality of execution, not a popular word at this time of detestable reintroduction of military tribunals by the current US admin, (ref. written in 2003-4, even more relevant to-day when some estimates consider torture on/in IRAQ higher than during Sadam's reign)
I wonder in which category will readers class AT. Kearney directors?

A Guide for the perplexed

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