The Simula book
Through a mix of articles and interviews, this book describes the philosophy behind Simula Research Laboratory; how it has been implemented, and the results that have come out of it. Most of the book is intended for anyone interested in research, whereas some of the articles are written for experts interested in Simula’s research subjects.
"When researchers gather around lunch tables, at conferences, or in bars, there are some topics that are more or less compulsory. The discussions are about the hopeless management of the university or the lab where they are working, the lack of funding for important research, politicians’ inability to grasp the potential of a particularly promising field, and the endless series of committees that seem to produce very little progress. It is common to meet excellent researchers claiming that they have almost no time to do research because writing applications, lecturing, and attending to committee work seem to take most of their time. Very few ever come into a position to do something about it.
With Simula we have this chance. We were handed a considerable annual grant and more or less left to ourselves to do whatever we thought would produce the best possible results. We wanted to create a place where researchers could have the time and conditions necessary to reflect over difficult problems, uninterrupted by mundane difficulties; where doctoral students could be properly supervised and learn the craft of research in a well-organized and professional manner; and where entrepreneurs could find professional support in developing their research-based applications and innovations. This book is about what we did."
Excerpt from the preface.
The interviews Dana Mackenzie conducted with Simula researchers are available as pdfs from the links below.