… is from page 174 of the late economic historian Nathan Rosenberg’s 1993 paper “Does Science Shape Economic Progress – Or Is It the Other Way Around?”, which is chapter 24 in Deirdre N. McCloskey’s brilliant 1993 edited collection, Second Thoughts (original emphasis):
It is widely believed that an industrial civilization, such as late twentieth-century America, depends upon scientific research for its continued economic success. Although there is no reason to doubt the long-term validity of this belief, it is often associated with a striking unawareness of the considerable extent to which new technologies can emerge without the assistance of recently acquired scientific knowledge. Indeed, to think of the lines of causation as running exclusively from new scientific findings to improved economic performance is highly selective and incomplete, and can lead to incorrect conclusions for the making of public policy.
DBx: Pictured above is the English ironmonger and Baptist preacher Thomas Newcomen (1664-1729), inventor of the first practical steam engine.