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Re-Visiting Agricultural Science for Development: From Mode 1 to Mode 2


This paper concerns ways of re-thinking the ways in which agricultural science relates to the problems of the rural poor, especially with respect to conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa. For some time now relevant scientific communities have been under pressure to show national governments and donor communities that their work is indeed having some tangible impact on the resolution of poverty, levels of which are becoming less tractable across large geographical areas. The problem seems to be that the institutional patterns and norms that govern scientific behaviour (and the organisations within which science is conducted) still have great difficulty relating to the general issue of poverty impact. The paper reports on three case studies to support an analytical approach that explores the potential of anticipatory systems as a conceptual device to enable better understanding of the issue. It also relates this discussion to the Gibbons et al mode1/mode2 distinction and how this maps on to the use of the innovation systems metaphor in developing country contexts.