industrial chemical journals to academic chemistry—a complete disconnection between the two communities. I don't think you would have found that in the United States even then.
Audience Member: Are there differences between big and small companies?
Francis Narin: Yes, but I have not looked in detail at big versus small companies to see which ones are more science linked, except that in the biotech area the small companies are. The companies that have in the past had this "chicken pox" patent pattern generally have not been companies that had a very strong technological base.
Audience Member: Do different groups of companies benefit from public science differently?
Francis Narin: We haven't made that cross-link. I do know that in the biotech area the smaller companies are much more science linked than the big ones, and you can understand why. A big company has lots of old technology that it has to protect; a company like Merck will have lots of process patents that are not at the leading edge of biotechnology, whereas at a biotech start-up, everything is based on leading-edge research. The interesting question is whether those differentiations will give some way of predicting whether a company is going to do well.
Audience Member: Do patents relate to company success?
Francis Narin: We are just beginning to explore that. We are starting to look at IPOs, initial public offerings. One interesting aspect is whether companies that have been successful and had successful IPOs in biotech are the ones linked into public science. I think that they will be, but I don't yet have any hard data. Right now I am trying to get a project going to take a look at that.
Audience Member: Wasn't science developed by industry long before it was supported by public agencies?
Francis Narin: I think the term "science" was used differently in those days. If you read the history of the last century, they were really talking about technology and not science. For example, during the industrial revolution in the United Kingdom, they used the term "science" to describe what we would call "technology."