Professor Jonathan Linton: 'An Opportunity to Learn a Great Deal in Moscow'
Professor Jonathan Linton, Power Corporation Professor for the Management of Technological Enterprise of the University of Ottawa, Canada, and Editor-in-Chief of the Technovation journal has been appointed as the new Head of the HSE Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies at ISSEK the Institute of Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge. Professor Linton is no stranger to the HSE. He has given seminars and he spoke at the April Conference last year. In this interview for the HSE English Language News Service he talked about what he hopes to achieve in his new job.
— The Russian people have a long tradition of excellence in Science and Technology. Consequently, an opportunity to hold such an important position in such a capable country is a great honor and very interesting. My new role gives me an opportunity to learn a great deal, while providing useful insights into how research at the interface of the natural and social sciences is conducted in other parts of the world.
— You've been to Moscow before for various conferences, including the April Conference 2013. What are your impressions of the working environment?
— There is a great deal of energy, intelligence and enthusiasm in the Laboratories. It is a pleasure to be in such an environment.
— What's the new strategy for the Laboratory? Which way is the research going?
— My goal is to help better integrate the laboratory into the international research community. The core of this is development of skills for research, writing and publishing in different types of international publications.
The lab has tremendous skill and success in producing research and reports that serve the needs of many important stakeholders — such as Government and Industry in the Russian Federation and abroad. By getting more practice and experience with targeting different stakeholder groups the laboratory personnel will not only develop flexibility in thinking and writing, but also be able to better serve current stakeholder needs.
The lab has a deep reservoir of skills in the areas where science and technology meet policy and management. Important areas include: foresight, nanotechnologies, and oil and gas. An important goal is to reach out to different publication outlets so the internal competencies of the Lab are better recognized within the Russian Federation and around the world. In summary, my goal is to strengthen internal capabilities and to make these capabilities more apparent to outside stakeholders within and outside of the academic community.
‘An important goal is to reach out to different publication outlets so the internal competencies of the Lab are better recognized within the Russian Federation and around the world’
— You've been the Editor-in-Chief of the highly respected journal Technovation. Will you stay on there? Are you planning to involve HSE researchers in the publication?
— Technovation has had increasing impact in the technology innovation management specialty area for quite a few years now. What is more important is that it an increasing number of journals in the sciences and social sciences are citing it. In other words, over the last decade Technovationhas had an increasing impact on other fields. Being Editor-in-Chief and Foreign Head of the Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies at HSE does not conflict. Consequently, I am continuing as Editor.
The benefit that researchers at HSE receive from the journal will be significant, but indirect in nature. My original contacts with HSE were based on a recognition that Russian research on technology and innovation management was mysteriously missing from international journals. I wanted Technovation to be seen as the preferred outlet. However as I now have a role within the lab, my focus shifts to helping researchers publish in other journals. So while there may be some HSE articles published in 2014 and 2015 that entered the review process before I took on this role, I expect to see HSE contributions to Technovation decline. But HSE contributions to other international journals will increase.
An editor can be most helpful to the researchers around him by helping them publish in other journals. No matter how good an article is. If it is published in a journal for which the editor or editorial office is co-located, many people will question whether the article was published due to high quality or high internal influence. Consequently, my role as editor provides help as I can give insight based on the unique experience and exposure that an editor gets.
— What are your personal expectations of working and living in Moscow?
— Moscow is an interesting city. There are many differences for me: language (even the alphabet), food, customs and culture. However, I feel very welcome here and do not feel so foreign as people keep trying to ask me for directions and various other questions (in Russian). There are many parallels with my home and place of birth — Canada. The weather is quite cool. Both countries are large with a low population density and natural resources (oil and minerals) make up an important part of the economy. I am looking forward to further exploring the differences and similarities between Canada and the Russian Federation while I am living in Moscow. Hopefully, I will get an opportunity to discover more of the country as well. I had the opportunity to visit Yekaterinburg last summer — a short but enjoyable stay.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for the HSE news service
Jonathan has quickly become part of our team; currently, we are setting up specialized research groups in several areas, a detailed discussion of our publication plans is underway, and the first research seminars were already held.
Professor Linton's experience as the Editor-in-Chief of Technovation, which is a leading international journal in our field, is particularly valuable for improving academic culture.
It is expected also that Jonathan will contribute to the design and implementation of a new English language Master's Program 'Governance of Science, Technology, and Innovation'.
We also plan to promote cooperation with a number of international universities and research centres. I am sure that the HSE Research Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies under Professor Linton's guidance will become an important growing point for HSE.'