The research described here still very much represents work in progress - currently under the aegis of a research fellowship awarded under the Goal Environmental Change Programme of the ESRC. The author is indebted to David Waxman who operationalised for 'Matlab' software (version 4.2c.1) the 'diversity optimisation' procedure developed by the author. Without David's invaluable input, the illustrative analysis described in the final section of this paper would have been prohibitively difficult to perform on a spreadsheet. Without implicating them in any way in the shortcomings, the author is also especially grateful for many thoughtful general comments on the manuscript by Chris Freeman, Keith Pavitt, Ed Steinmueller and Nick von Tunzelman and for discussions over the years on various specific issues arising in this study to colleagues at SPRU and further afield, especially David Fisk (on fuzzy logic and ignorance), Sylvan Katz (on complexity and power law relations), Gordon MacKerron (on the policy implications of diversity), Jim Skea and Roy Turner (on the mathematics of optimising diversity under the Shannon index) and Brian Wynne (on the difficulties in technology appraisal). The many profound debts to other students of diversity in many disciplines are obvious in the text.

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