Caroline Wigren-Kristoferson, Jonas Gabrielsson, Fumi Kitagawa; Mind the gap and bridge the gap: research excellence and diffusion of academic knowledge in Sweden. Science and Public Policy 2011; 38 (6): 481-492. doi: 10.3152/030234211X12960315267859
This paper aims to highlight the changing and diversifying nature of academic work related to various forms of knowledge production and diffusion. Focusing on the changing research policy landscape in Sweden, three interrelated questions are investigated: what academics do in terms of commercialisation and public dissemination; how they perform these activities; and why they engage in these activities. Based on data from a recent survey with over 10,000 academics in Sweden, we identify and analyse ‘high-performing’ researchers, in the context of the commercialisation and public dissemination of their academic work. The quantitative analysis is supplemented by qualitative interviews with scientists at strong research environments in Sweden. We argue that there is a virtuous cycle connecting different academic activities in strong research environments — research excellence and excellence in knowledge production on one hand, and knowledge diffusion activities, such as commercialisation and public dissemination, on the other hand.