Minerva

Published by Springer Nature
Online ISSN: 1573-1871
Learn more about this page
Recent publications
World tertiary enrollment ratio (average of countries), 1960–2016
Proportion of countries experiencing year-to-year enrollment decline, with smoothed curve
Article
Higher education has expanded at astonishing rates around the world. We seek to understand the oppositions that periodically arise, which may produce enrollment declines and/or imposition of political controls. The post-1945 growth of higher education was – to a greater extent than is often recognized – propelled by the liberal, and later neoliberal, international order. Oppositions arise from illiberal alternatives, which also may organize globally. The recent weakening of the global liberal order, associated with growing populism and nationalism, creates conditions for a new wave of oppositions. We hypothesize that attacks on higher education emerge in countries less integrated into world society and in countries linked to international structures that support illiberal alternatives. We examine cross-national data on higher education over the period 1960–2017. Enrollments and funding are higher in societies more tightly linked to world society and lower in countries tied to illiberal international organizations. Analyses of enrollments in various fields, constraints on academic freedom, and terrorist attacks on education institutions show similar pattern. Finally, we observe heterogeneity in the forms of illiberal opposition: countries that suppress academic freedom generally are less likely to restrict enrollments.
 
Article
During the last several decades, the concept of social innovation has been a subject of scientific and practical discourse. As an important paradigm for innovation policies, social innovation is also an object of criticism and debate. Despite a significant proliferation of literature, the rate at which social innovation is a catalyst for coping with challenges of modern societies remains unclear. The goal of the paper is to gain a better understanding of social innovation by integrating past and present views on the concept. Applying a historical overview covering the period from the 19th to the 21st century, we outline the milestones in the evolution of social innovation and distinguish seven trajectories that illustrate the commonalities in its interpretation. We consolidate the findings into a three-dimensional model that defines social innovation as an intervention that is targeted toward structural changes within a social dimension that, in terms of different functional settings (e.g., technological, business, organizational), are oriented on systemic improvements of societies. Reflecting on future avenues, we consider social innovation as an integrative part of a holistic intervention that acts across single societal dimensions and provides systemic impact for the sustainable development of societies.
 
Article
Against the background of an increasing dependency of governance on specialized expertise and growing calls for citizen participation, this study discusses solutions to the tension between knowledge and democracy. It asks: Which institutions and practices add to striking a balance between knowledge-based decision-making and the involvement of the affected? Based on the social studies of science, knowledge and expertise as well as democratic theory with a focus on participation , representation and inclusion, the study first identifies quality criteria of expertise and participation, and then, with reference to two quite different, up-and-coming empirical answers to the epistemic-democratic tension, spells out the conditions of realizing these criteria in practice. In focus are a) highly complex, multi-layered structures of policy deliberation and advice that combine expert panels with a range of public input channels and b) the involvement of 'lay experts' into policy-making through participatory knowledge practices such as 'service user involvement' or 'cit-izen science'. The study underlines, inter alia, how claims that transcend individual viewpoints and integrate a multiplicity of experiences and concerns are of particular democratic and epistemic value; it points to the key role of organized advocacy groups when it comes to credibly combining a mandate to speak for others with useful and reliable experience-based expertise; and it illustrates the relevance of conflict-minimising institutions for the making of public policies.
 
Article
This paper analyses the interrelations between academic disciplines and society beyond academia by the case of sociology in Norway. For that purpose, this paper introduces the concept of disciplines’ societal territories, which refer to bounded societal spaces that are shaped by the knowledge of a discipline, premised on the linkages between the discipline and its audience. By mapping sociologists’ reported contributions to societal changes beyond academia, the paper firstly shows how societal territories are established by sociologists’ recurring engagement with certain topics and research users. Secondly, it traces the interactions between researchers and their users, and identifies four ideal typical pathways by which the cognitive territory of Norwegian sociology is transformed into societal territories. A key observation is that the establishment of societal territories is co-determined by the structures of research use among its audience. As for the case of sociology in Norway, questions therefore arise over the interdependency between sociologists as knowledge ‘suppliers’ and the ‘demand side’ for research, and the autonomy of the sociological discipline in selecting its focus of attention.
 
Institutional conditions influencing the impact of scientific knowledge on policy - expanded framework (
source: authors)
Article
This paper presents a framework to understand the impact of scientific knowledge on the policy-making process, focusing on the conceptual impact. We note the continuing dissatisfaction with the quality and effects of science-policy interactions in both theory and practice. We critique the current literature’s emphasis on the efforts of scientists to generate policy impact, because it neglects the role of ‘user’ policymaking organisations. The framework offered in the paper develops an argument about the essential role of institutional conditions of policy ‘users’ for scientific knowledge to achieve impact. The framework is informed by the reflexive institutionalist and the neo-institutionalist theoretical approaches. Its main contribution is in outlining the intra- and inter-organisational conditions of policymaking organisations, along with personal characteristics of individual policy officials that influence the likelihood of scientific knowledge to generate conceptual impact. We also offer an operationalisation of the framework. The wider relevance of the paper is in moving the focus from the activities of scientists and the incentive structure in scientific organisations to the policy user side.
 
Evolution of patenting over time, 1920–1975
Growth of science faculty members (1920–1960)
Distribution of patents per professor
Number of Patents Held by Canadian Universities, 1980–2018.
Source: Based on USPTO data compiled by the Observatoire des sciences et des technologies (OST).
Article
This study analyses the patenting activities of university science and engineering professors in Canada between 1920 and 1975. Unlike most studies on commercial activities in academia, which typically focus on the post-1980 period and on university practices, we focus on the pre-1980 period and on the individual decisions of professors to patent their inventions. Based on quantitative patent data, we show that patenting, and thus professors’ interest in the possible commercial value of their scientific discoveries made in university laboratories, was relatively common on an individual and informal basis well before the 1980s and the advent of what is now called “academic capitalism”. This contradicts the belief that before that period, universities were a kind of ivory towers in which professors isolated themselves from external influences and engaged only in pure and disinterested research.
 
Article
As health care systems have been recast as innovation assets, commercial aims are increasingly prominent within states’ health and medical research policies. Despite this, the reformulation of notions of social and of scientific value and of long-standing relations between science and the state that is occurring in research policies remains comparatively unexamined. Addressing this lacuna, this article investigates the articulation of ‘actually existing neoliberalism' in research policy by examining a major Australian research policy and funding instrument, the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). We identify the MRFF and allied initiatives as a site of state activism: reallocating resources from primary and preventive health care to commercially-oriented biomedical research; privileging commercial objectives in research and casting health as a “flow on effect”; reorganising the publicly funded production of health and medical knowledge; and arrogating for political actors a newly prominent role in research grant assessment and funding allocation. We conclude that rather than the state’s assumption of a more activist role in medical research and innovation straightforwardly serving a ‘public good’, it is a driver of neoliberalisation that erodes commitments to redistributive justice in health care and significantly reconfigures science-state relations in research policy.
 
The expansion of R&D personnel in OECD and non-OECD countries, 1980–2015 (FTE per 1000 employed; OECD 2019; UNESCO 2019)
Change in R&D personnel worldwide, 1990–2015 (FTE per 1000 employed; OECD 2019; UNESCO 2019)
Article
Global science expansion and the 'skills premium' in labor markets have been extensively discussed in the literature on the global knowledge economy, yet the focus on, broadly-speaking, knowledge-related personnel as a key factor is surprisingly absent. This article draws on UIS and OECD data on research and development (R&D) personnel for the period 1980 to 2015 for up to N = 82 countries to gauge cross-national trends and to test a wide range of educational, economic, political and institutional determinants of general expansion as well as expansion by specific sectors (i.e. higher education vs corporate R&D) and country groups (OECD vs non-OECD). Findings show that, worldwide, the number of personnel involved in the creation of novel and original knowledge has risen dramatically in the past three decades, across sectors, with only a few countries reporting decrease. Educational (public governance, tertiary enrolment and professionalization) and economic predictors (R&D expenditures and gross national income) show strong effects. Expansion is also strongest in those countries embedded in global institutional networks, yet regardless of a democratic polity. I discuss the emergence of 'knowledge work' as a mass-scale and worldwide phenomenon and map out consequences for the analysis of such a profound transformation, which involves both an educated workforce and the strong role of the state. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11024-021-09455-4.
 
Article
The why and the how of knowledge production are examined in the case of the transnational cooperation between the directors of observatories in the Far East who drew up unified typhoon-warning codes in the period 1900–1939. The why is prompted by the socioeconomic interests of the local chambers of commerce and international telegraphic companies, although this urge has the favourable wind of Far Eastern meteorologists’ ideology of voluntarist internationalism. The how entails the persistent pursuit of consensus (on ends rather than means) in international meetings where non-binding resolutions on codes and procedures are adopted. The outcome is the co-production of standardised knowledge, that is, the development of a series of processes and practices that co-produce both knowledge and ideas about the social order in a force field characterised by negotiations and power struggles.
 
Three perspectives on the relations between Triple Helix and Quadruple Helix on a continuum
Article
While the Triple Helix and Quadruple Helix models are popular in innovation studies, the relations between them have not been addressed extensively in the literature. There are diverse interpretations of helix models in empirical studies that apply them, but these sometimes deviate from the original theses of the models. Such a situation can confuse newcomers to the field in terms of which helix model to apply in their empirical research. We discern that the cause of this research challenge is a lack of systematic comparison of the two models. To bridge the research gap, this paper compares the models from the perspectives of how they were introduced and discussed in the literature and improved and how useful they are in addressing the innovation processes in contemporary society. Our major findings are as follows: First, reviewing the extant literature applying the two helix models for identifying research gaps, we discover that these studies were influenced by three views on the relations between the two models that were located on a continuum between two extreme ends—namely, isolation versus integration of the two models. Second, we provide a systematic comparison of both the advantages and weaknesses of the two models, and this may help researchers choose suitable helix models as conceptual/analytical tools in their empirical innovation studies. Third, our comparison of the two models shows that they are largely supplementary to each other when analysing innovation processes in contemporary society, providing a ground for potential synergy building between the two helix models.
 
Article
Este contenido está protegido bajo la licencia CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Revista Multidisciplinaria de la Universidad de El Salvador • Revista Minerva (2022) 5(1) • pp. 85-90 Plataforma digital de la revista: https://minerva.sic.ues.edu.sv [85]
 
Article
In this paper, we bring together the literature on citizen science and on deliberative democracy and epistemic injustice. We argue that citizen science can be seen as one element of “deliberative systems,” as described by Mansbridge et al. But in order to fulfil its democratic potential, citizen science needs to be attentive to various forms of exclusion and epistemic injustice, as analyzed by Fricker, Medina and others. Moreover, to tap the potentials of citizen science from the perspective of deliberative democracy, it needs to move towards a more empowered approach, in which citizens do not only deliver data points, but also, in invited or uninvited settings, participate in discussions about the goals and implications of research. Integrating citizen science into the deliberative systems approach embeds it in a broader framework of democratic theory and suggests the transmission of certain practical strategies (e.g., randomized sampling). It can also contribute to realism about both the potentials and the limits of citizen science. As part of a deliberative system, citizen science cannot, and need not, be the only place in which reforms are necessary for creating stronger ties between science and society and for aligning science with democratic values.
 
Article
Most studies of academic inbreeding have focused on assessing its impact on scholarly practices, outputs, and outcomes. Few studies have concentrated on the other possible effects of academic inbreeding. This paper draws on a large number of studies on academic inbreeding to explore how the practice has been conceptualized , how it has emerged, and how it has been rationalized in the creation and development of higher education systems. Within this framework, the paper also explores how academic inbreeding shapes and maintains a powerful academic oligarchy, leading to the stonewalling of both knowledge and institutional change to maintain social and political structures somewhat akin to those of medieval societies. The paper shows that the key to mitigating academic inbreeding practices lies in ensuring that academic recruitment processes are open, meritocratic, and transparent. However, a more difficult task is to change longstanding mentalities and disrupt a system that serves the interests of certain groups but not the advancement of knowledge or the fulfillment of universities' social mandates.
 
Number and share of China’s publications and retractions indexed by the Web of Science (2000–2020)
Number of national and international publications in China (1995-2019) (National Bureau of Statistics of China 1996–2019)
Publishers’ share of China’s OA publishing (2018)
Number of Chinese Publications Regarding Academic Discourse Power from CNKI (2011–2020)
International Collaboration Publications in China (2000–2020)
Article
In the 1990s, China created a research evaluation system based on publications indexed in the Science Citation Index (SCI) and on the Journal Impact Factor. Such system helped the country become the largest contributor to the scientific literature and increased the position of Chinese universities in international rankings. Although the system had been criticized by many because of its adverse effects, the policy reform for research evaluation crawled until the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accidently accelerates the process of policy reform. This paper highlights the background and principles of this reform, provides evidence of its effects, and discusses the implications for global science.
 
The research framework: entrepreneurial orientation, organizational commercial slack, and knowledge transfer effectiveness.
Article
The paper examines the role of organizational commercial slack (OCS) in mediating the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and the effectiveness of knowledge transfer (KT) in universities. The paper identifies two types of commercial slack in the university setting: financial and promotional. Four research hypotheses are proposed. Pooled data, that is, a combination of a questionnaire survey of 110 Taiwanese universities with a data set of university KT effectiveness from the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, are collected to test the aforementioned research hypotheses. The empirical results indicate that the EO of a university enables the university to provide appropriate OCS. Furthermore, the commercial slack of a university positively mediates the relationship between EO and KT effectiveness. The paper concludes that developing EO and OCS are crucial for improving the KT effectiveness of a university. Moreover, some managerial and policy implications for promoting EO and OCS in universities are suggested.
 
Article
More than resource allocations, evaluations of funding applications have become central instances for status bestowal in academia. Much attention in past literature has been devoted to grasping the status consequences of prominent funding evaluations. But little attention has been paid to understanding how the status-bestowing momentum of such evaluations is constructed. Throughout this paper, our aim is to develop new knowledge on the role of applicants in constructing certain funding evaluations as events with crucial importance for status bestowal. Using empirical material from retrospective interviews with Sweden-based early-career scientists who, successfully or unsuccessfully, applied for European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants, our findings show how these scientists interlinked experiences from various practices to construct the ERC’s evaluations, in general, and the final-stage appointments at Brussels’ Madou Plaza Tower, in particular, as apex-esque, crescendo-like status-bestowing events. We discuss our findings as instructional, preparatory, and demarcative practices that, by extension, distribute responsibility for the construction and reinforcement of high-stakes, career-defining evaluations through which considerable stress and anxiety is generated in academia.
 
Seven core dimensions of retraction stigma
Three concentric circles of retraction stakeholders
A model of retraction stigma communication (RSC)
Elements of stigmatizing force of retraction notices
Influences on perceptions of retraction stigma and stigmatizing force
Article
Retraction of published research is laudable as a post-publication self-correction of science but undesirable as an indicator of grave violations of research and publication ethics. Given its various adverse consequences, retraction has a stigmatizing effect both in and beyond the academic community. However, little theoretical attention has been paid to the stigmatizing nature of retraction. Drawing on stigma theories and informed by research on retraction, we advance a conceptualization of retraction as stigma. We define retraction stigma as a discrediting evaluation of the professional competence and academic ethics of the entities held accountable for retraction. Accordingly, we identify seven core dimensions of retraction stigma, consider its functional justifications at both social and psychological levels, and distinguish its various targets and stakeholders. In view of the central role of retraction notices, we also discuss how retraction stigma is communicated via retraction notices and how authors of retraction notices may exercise their retraction stigma power and manipulate the stigmatizing force of retraction notices. We conclude by recommending retraction stigma as a theoretical framework for future research on retraction and pointing out several directions that this research can take.
 
Article
This article explores morality and credibility struggles in connection to two officially sanctioned public Swedish experiments launched in the late 1960s to investigate the (ab)use of alcohol and illicit drugs, especially in relation to young people, and the subsequent decisions to terminate the experiments and research. We argue that these 1960s struggles on how to analyze the effects of increased availability of psychoactive substances must be understood in the light of a simultaneous development of modern (social) science studies. The public display of conflicting expert views on how to investigate and interpret questions of alcohol and drugs in modern society played out in concordance with the growth of social science alcohol and drug research and expertise. The article focuses on the 1960s, a decade that was characterized by profound transformations in Swedish society. In so doing, the article contributes from the perspective of history to debates on the nexus between knowledge production and policy in modern societies.
 
SNI categorization process workflow.
Source: Prepared by the authors.
Article
Technology development and innovation are fundamentally different from scientific research. However, in many circumstances, they are evaluated jointly and by the same processes. In these cases, peer review—the most usual procedure for evaluating research—is also applied to the evaluation of technological products and innovation activities. This can lead to unfair results and end up discouraging the involvement of researchers in these fields. This paper analyzes the evaluation processes in Uruguay's National System of Researchers. In this system, all members' activities, both scientific and technological, are evaluated by peer committees. Based on documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews, the difficulties faced by evaluators in assessing technology products are explored. The article highlights the persistence of a linear conception of the link between science and technology and describes the obstacles to assimilate the particularities of technological activities. Refereed publications are presented as the only uncontested product. Other types of output are reviewed with suspicion. This study emphasizes the need for specific mechanisms to evaluate technological production within academic careers.
 
Article
Given the importance of research communities and research mentoring activities in developing research skills, universities around the world have paid special attention to improving these two dimensions. However, developing research communities and research mentoring culture in Vietnamese universities largely remain at a nascent stage because these universities often have a short history of conducting research and limited research capacity. Drawing on a sociocultural perspective, this qualitative case study explores the experience of Vietnamese scholars in developing their research skills via their research communities and their perspectives towards domestic and international research communities. Interview data show that participants were active in establishing their own networks and tended to look outward, searching for support from international communities and mentors, since their institutes lacked collegiality and research collaborations. To develop institutional research communities and positive research culture, universities’ managers should consider factors including collective values, researcher individualism, and research traditions.
 
Bachelor’s degree course patterns (n=86; left z-standardized deviations from mean value, right average percentage shares of the total volume of the study programmes)
Article
At the intersection of science studies and higher education research, this contribution looks at the way in which the requirements of universities as organizations release development dynamics in academic disciplines and it analyses the interaction between discipline and organization. We will analyse German educational science, bearing in mind it is an example of disciplines that are fractured and consequently have little consensus in terms of fundamental theories and basic concepts. Firstly, we take on a quantitative approach and analyse the changes in degree courses at the structural level and the symbolic boundaries or conceptual distinctions following the transition to the Bachelor and Master system. Secondly, we take a close look at the negotiating processes and practices, as well as at the disciplinary orientations that determine these boundary shifts, using a qualitative approach that focuses on the actors. In group discussions with representatives of the German educational science at different universities it stood out that actors involved in course design are compelled to find an equilibrium between the demands of the discipline and those of the organization, and do so in very different ways. Finally, we discuss the extent to which close interaction between higher education reforms and academic disciplines can be figured out, particularly for disciplines seen as fractured and which do not have consensual common disciplinary standards.
 
Article
The independence of research is a key strategic issue of modern societies. Dealing with it appropriately poses legal, economic, political, social and cultural problems for society, which have been studied by the corresponding disciplines and are increasingly the subject of reflexive discourses of scientific communities. Unfortunately, problems of independence are usually framed in disciplinary contexts without due consideration of other perspectives’ relevance or possible contributions. To overcome these limitations, we review disciplinary perspectives and findings on the independence of research and identify interdisciplinary prospects that could inform a research programme.
 
Conceptual framework on international temporary mobility, interpersonal social networks, and entrepreneurial knowledge (source: authors)
Visualization of p-values (values on arrows) and significant relationships (green arrows) in our model
Disjoint two-stage approach model (p-values on arrows)
Article
Temporary international mobility is an increasingly relevant practice amongst academics. However, current literature lacks understanding on whether such mobility influences the individual academics’ entrepreneurial knowledge. This paper hypothesizes that temporary international academic mobility is conducive to the academic’s entrepreneurial knowledge and that interpersonal social networks play a crucial role in the transfer of this knowledge through their strength and size properties. We perform a Partial Least Squares - Structural Equation Model and build upon an original survey data set collected amongst 281 Chinese academics. We find that the size of one’s interpersonal social network fully mediates the relationship between international academic mobility and entrepreneurial knowledge. This result points to the importance of a structurally broad - rather than a relationally strong - international social network in the academic’s accumulation of entrepreneurial knowledge abroad.
 
Proportion of STEM workers who reported taking skills-related training in the past 12 months, by NSCG survey year
Proportion of STEM workers who reported taking skills-related training in the past 12 months, by years since most recent degree and NSCG survey year
Article
Studies of education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) commonly use a pipeline metaphor to conceptualize forward movement and persistence. However, the “STEM pipeline” carries implicit assumptions regarding length (i.e. that it “starts” and “stops” at specific stages in one’s education or career), contents (i.e. that some occupational fields are “in” the pipeline while others are not), and perceived purpose (i.e. that “leakage,” or leaving STEM, constitutes failure). Using the National Survey of College Graduates, we empirically measure each of these dimensions. First, we show that a majority of STEM workers report skills training throughout their careers, suggesting no clear demarcation between education and work. Second, we show that using on-the-job expertise requirements (rather than occupational titles) paints a very different portrait of the STEM workforce—and persistence in it (where substantial attrition remains evident, especially among women and African Americans). Third, we show that STEM-educated workers are well-prepared for but dissatisfied with non-STEM jobs, complicating our understanding of leaving. Collectively, these results recommend expanded conceptions of STEM education and careers and contribute to studies of science and engineering workforce transitions and diversity.
 
Article
This brief paper reports the dating of some Pilbara petroglyphs in Western Australia to the Pleistocene.
 
Article
In the current research landscape, there are increasing demands for research to be innovative and cutting-edge. At the same time, concerns are voiced that as a consequence of neoliberal regimes of research governance, innovative research becomes impeded. In this paper, I suggest that to gain a better understanding of these dynamics, it is indispensable to scrutinise current demands for innovativeness as a distinct way of ascribing worth to research. Drawing on interviews and focus groups produced in a close collaboration with three research groups from the crop and soil sciences, I develop the notion of a project-innovation regime of valuation that can be traced in the sphere of research. In this evaluative framework, it is considered valuable to constantly re-invent oneself and take ‘first steps’ instead of ‘just’ following up on previous findings. Subsequently, I describe how these demands for innovativeness relate to and often clash with other regimes of valuation that matter for researchers’ practices. I show that valuations of innovativeness are in many ways bound to those of productivity and competitiveness, but that these two regimes are nevertheless sometimes in tension with each other, creating a complicated double bind for researchers. Moreover, I highlight that also the project-innovation regime as such is not always in line with what researchers considered as a valuable progress of knowledge, especially because it entails a de-valuation of certain kinds of long-term epistemic agendas. I show that prevailing pushes for innovativeness seem to be based on a rather short-sighted temporal imaginary of scientific progress that is hardly grounded in the complex realities of research practices, and that they can reshape epistemic practices in potentially problematic ways.
 
Article
U.S. federal research funding is generally justified by promises of public benefits, but the specific natures and distribution of such benefits often remain vague and ambiguous. Furthermore, the metrics by which outcomes are reported often do not necessarily or strongly imply the achievement of public benefits. These ambiguities and discontinuities make it difficult to assess the public outcomes of federal research programs. This study maps the terms in which the purposes and the outcomes of Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) -a relatively young and innovatively structured federal research agency-have been discussed and reported. I find that ARPA-E’s creation and funding have been justified with reference to a broad repertoire of economic, environmental, and national security values, but that the agency has been evaluated only through intermediate scientific and economic metrics and study of internal organizational structure. I suggest that these means of assessment elide ARPA-E’s lack of the financial scale, long time horizon, built-in customer, and radical vision which have been historically important to high-impact federal innovation, and I recommend the tracking of metrics more directly related to ARPA-E’s public value purposes as the agency grows older. This discussion illustrates the inadequacy of currently widespread metrics and conventional wisdom for the design and assessment of societally relevant research.
 
Article
Fire safety expertise was in great demand following the Grenfell Tower fire in London in June 2017. The government established a review of building regulations and an expert panel to inform its responses to Grenfell, and many other relevant organisations also formed their own expert panels. However, expert knowledge in fire safety is a highly contested domain, with knowledge claims based on differing sources. Fire fighters can claim expertise based on their experience of fighting fires, scientists and science-based engineers can claim expertise from experimentation, and those who create and enact regulations can claim expertise in what can termed ’codespeak’—the language of regulation. Although distanced from fundamental empirical experience of fire, codespeak is powerful because of its relative clarity and certainty, and legal status. Building users also bring their own form of ‘local’ expertise—they have first-hand experience of the practicalities of the solutions wrought by the other experts. Policy-makers thus face many competing forms of expert advice on fire safety, and their ability to judge what is most relevant in any particular case rests on the existence of a sufficient range and depth of in-house government expertise.
 
Mapping scientific convergence clubs
Transition paths.
Standard deviation (St\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$${{\varvec{S}}}_{{\varvec{t}}}$$\end{document}) of hit across clubs.
RCA index of convergence clubs in the period 2003 to 2016
Article
Countries’ scientific systems are a key element of the knowledge economy. This paper explores the convergence pattern of the scientific systems of a wide range of countries around the world during the period 2003–2016. Drawing on data on national scientific production from a sample of 121 developed and developing countries, the log t test methodology has been used to detect whether there has been an overall convergence in knowledge creation among countries, if they have converged in clubs, or if there have been divergent countries. The results show the absence of overall convergence; on the contrary, the presence of five groups of countries that converge together has been detected, showing differentiated knowledge production growth trajectories among them. A divergent country (UK) has also been identified. Furthermore, the paper examines the scientific structure of these clubs and the countries that form them, identifying in which scientific fields the scientific systems of countries have a comparative advantage/disadvantage in relation to the world average.
 
Overlapping time segments of morphogenesis,
adapted from Archer (1995)
Progressive morphogenic cycles
Conceptual framework of productive tension through network progression
Article
We present an in-depth case study of a learning network that aims to transform infrastructure and practice across the research enterprise to advance societal impacts. The theory of social morphogenesis guides our processual qualitative analysis of the network. We describe how different types of boundary work, both building and navigating across boundaries, operate in tension while contributing to transformative capacity. We conclude that learning networks can play a robust role in fostering transformation by drawing together and holding together forces which expand knowledge and authority over time iteratively and recursively. In addition to this theoretical contribution, we provide practical guidance for how network leaders can dynamically manage boundaries, shifting emphasis between strength and fluidity to support transformative change across sites and scales.
 
Examples of codes
Article
Incentives for improving research productivity at universities prevail in global academia. However, the rationale, methodology, and impact of such incentives and consequent evaluation regimes are in need of scrutinization. This paper explores the influences of financial and career-related publishing incentive schemes on research cultures. It draws on an analysis of 75 interviews with academics, senior university administrators, and journal editors from China, a country that has seen widespread reliance on international publication counts in research evaluation and reward systems. The study focuses on humanities and social sciences (HSS) as disciplinary sites, which embody distinct characteristics and have experienced the introduction of incentive schemes in China since the early 2000s. Findings reveal tensions between internationalization and indigenization, quality and quantity, integrity and instrumentalism, equity and inequity in Chinese academia. In particular, we argue that a blanket incentive scheme could reinforce a managerial culture in higher education, encourage performative objectification of academics, and jeopardize their agency. We thereby challenge 'one-size-fits-all' policymaking, and suggest instead that institutions should have the opportunity to adopt an ethical and 'human-oriented' approach when developing their research incentives and evaluation mechanisms.
 
Article
Honesty is widely understood as an ethical imperative in science and scholarship. This article examines the operation of this ethic in an area crucial to academe but which has not received sufficient attention: faculty review of candidates seeking appointment to academic rank—in hiring and promotion—in U.S. higher education organizations. Confidentiality is a professional norm indicative of these faculty assessments. By turn, academic freedom is exercised by speaking without fear of retribution, but it is handicapped to the extent that breaches of confidentiality—an instance of professional deviance—cause a group to censor speech. The article investigates the conditions under which honesty is undermined and confidentiality transgressed in review proceedings. In addition, three social-institutional forces are theorized to account for lack of honesty in this central practice of academic life. A situation wherein honesty is systemically inhibited renders the legitimacy of academic organizations in question. The argument articulates a path of reform by spelling-out appointment criteria, professional ethics, and the means of their enforcement to maximize requisite behavior.
 
Article
Scientific misconduct is believed to be on the increase as the media frequently report dramatic cases. Scientific societies, academies, publishers, and stakeholders in industry are all expressing growing concern. Public opinion and political leaders are consequently becoming skeptical about science as a provider of reliable knowledge. Yet spectacular headline news should not hide pernicious misbehaviors of a different sort which are more difficult to identify but may be even more dangerous for the scientific endeavor. Based on the biomedical research case, this paper addresses these issues. It identifies the procedures set up by stakeholders of research to contain misconduct, and develops hypotheses about how changes in the making of science impact scientific integrity.
 
Terms used in quantum research grants
Leximancer concept map of quantum grants funded by the Australian Research Council
Article
The term ‘quantum technology’ was first popularised by an Australian physicist in the mid-1990s. These technologies make use of the properties of quantum physics and are being developed and invested across the world, yet this emerging technology is understudied in science and technology studies. This article investigates the emergence of the notion of ‘quantum technologies’ and examines the expectations shaping this field through an analysis of research grants funded by a national research funder, the Australian Research Council between 2002 and 2020. I examine how ‘quantum technology’ and ‘quantum computing’ have come to dominate claims and expectations surrounding research in quantum science. These expectations do more than inform the scientific goals of the field. They also provide an overarching, uniting rhetoric for individual projects and people and shape the uses imagined for quantum technologies. This analysis shows how claims for this emerging technology draw on ‘breakthrough’ metaphors to engage researchers and marshal investment and concludes by highlighting the need for increased clarity regarding expectations for quantum technologies.
 
Article
Interdisciplinarity is widely considered necessary to solving many contemporary problems, and new funding structures and instruments have been created to encourage interdisciplinary research at universities. In this article, we study a small technical university specializing in green technology which implemented a strategy aimed at promoting and developing interdisciplinary collaboration. It did so by reallocating its internal research funds for at least five years to “research platforms” that required researchers from at least two of the three schools within the university to participate. Using data from semi-structured interviews from researchers in three of these platforms, we identify specific tensions that the strategy has generated in this case: (1) in the allocation of platform resources, (2) in the division of labor and disciplinary relations, (3) in choices over scientific output and academic careers. We further show how the particular platform format exacerbates the identified tensions in our case. We suggest that certain features of the current platform policy incentivize shallow interdisciplinary interactions, highlighting potential limits on the value of attempting to push for interdisciplinarity through internal funding.
 
Article
The paper investigates the evolution of the first manned international space mission – a rendezvous and docking between a US and a Soviet spacecraft in 1975 known as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). The aim is to reconsider the rationales behind the ASTP from both a conceptual and an empirical perspective in order to get a better understanding of the evolution of international cooperation in the highly competitive and strategic field of space technology. Based on archival sources from Moscow, it sheds some light on those factors that led to a change in the previous reluctance of Soviets to cooperate with the US in the manned spaceflight. From the theoretical point of view, it argues that the ASTP was as much a tool of competition as one of cooperation and resulted from an interplay between cooperative and competitive logics. To explain the turn towards cooperative practices, the article looks at the complex constellation of competitive relations that existed within the national and international context of space exploration and changed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The decisive role in those changes was played by factors that can be subsumed under the notion of the so-called “third.”
 
Article
The paper considers the notion of Science Policy from a postcolonial perspective. It examines the theoretical implications of the recent trend to include emerging and developing countries in international Science Policies by way of the case study of Switzerland. This country's new international science policy instruments and measures have challenged the classical distinction between international scientific cooperation and development cooperation, with consequences on standards and evaluation criteria. The analysis reveals that the underlying assumptions of the concept of Science Policy perpetuate traditional asymmetries in the global political economy of science. The paper suggests that the present legacy of Science Policy institutions and practices needs to be transformed to reflect an increasingly diverse spectrum of scientific purposes and traditions. It offers a revised set of foun-dational assumptions on Science Policy and, more broadly, proposes a fresh point of entry for the field of Science & Technology Studies (STS) to contribute to the Science Policy discourse.
 
Article
In 2015, Willem Halffman and Hans Radder published in Minerva a paper, in which they diagnosed that our universities are colonized by “The Wolf of management.” Using the example of the reforms afflicting the Polish academic world, I show that this colonization has intensified, and apart from the processes described in the aforementioned paper, it brought consequences that have changed academic culture: research is subjected to publication policy, many academic activities are treated as a hobby, researchers must be in a stand-by mode to react quickly to new regulations, and responsibility for the institutional prestige is collective. I argue that the attempts to reduce research results into numbers and algorithms stem from a quest for objectivity and a mistrust of academics’ (and the Wolf’s) ability to pass fair judgments. The Wolf tries to realize a utopian dream: the building of a structure that by necessity secures the productivity of research, which in turn brings the prestige of institutions, ultimately measured by rankings. Yet, prestige is not an epistemic but rather a political value, and when academics are forced to aim at prestige, vital academic values are endangered. Any efficient resistance to the Wolf requires grassroots work on the part of academics. By reconsidering the nature of research and education as well as their role in society, academics might be able to develop viable alternatives to the “productivist university.” This requires cooperation with broader society. As such, the alternative of either remaining in the ivory tower or submitting to the Wolf is a false dilemma.
 
Article
Acting as a reviewer is considered a substantial part of the role-bundle of the academic profession (quality assurance (QA) and quality enhancement (QE) role). Research literature about peer review, for example, for journals and grants, shows that acting as a peer reviewer adds to an academic’s reputation. However, little is known about academics’ motivation to act as reviewers. Based on self-determination theory, the multidimensional work motivation scale (Gagné et al. 2015) is used for a survey of German professors acting as reviewers. The results of factor analysis show no intrinsic motivation to act as a reviewer in accreditation and evaluation procedures. Presumably, due to socialization effects, identified motivation among professors is higher compared to introjected motivation or to extrinsic motivation. A preference for HEI leadership/management predicts identified motivation to act as a reviewer, but a preference for teaching does not. Overall, the results suggest that professors acting as peer reviewers in accreditation and evaluation procedures accept the ambivalence of being self-determined in exercising the QA and QE professional role and of involuntarily being a management tool for higher education governance. The findings suggest that peer reviewing – also of research – is based on identified (and introjected) and not intrinsic motivation, for example, socialized acceptance of journal peer review as the best or most suitable mechanism of QA and QE.
 
Article
The postwar era is generally recognized as a unique moment of impetuous growth of the social sciences, due to the interest of Western internationalist elites in the development of a set of pragmatically-oriented intellectual tools that could be of use in the confrontation between the self-proclaimed “Free World,” the Soviet bloc, and emerging postcolonial nations. In the last twenty years, however, doubts about the impact of the Cold War syndrome on the development of ideas, methods, and infrastructures of Western social science in the 1950s and the 1960s have been cast by historians and social scientists alike. This article uses the episode of the 1959 Middle East scholarly trip of a Harvard sociologist, Robert N. Bellah, to highlight the complexity and the ambivalence of individual trajectories, as well as the adumbrations of critical ideas and themes in the work of an intellectual who was a recognized, if peripheral, member of some of the most influential Cold War Social Science circles. A final hypothesis on a paradox of Cold War social science is advanced, according to which the need to staff centers and institutes for the training of Cold War technicians and elites put humanists and orientalists in the condition to influence those very students who should have been trained in the most advanced and practically-oriented social sciences.
 
Article
There is growing attention to science diplomacy among scholars, policymakers, and scientific associations around the world. However, there continues to be contestation around the concept of science diplomacy, currently framed alternately as a new understanding of diplomacy, part of the global challenges discourse, central to the internationalization of science, and typifying competitive innovation. This contestation is furthered by the involvement of a broad array of policy instruments and actors in science diplomacy. In response, this paper focuses on a single policy instrument, examining eight bilateral and multilateral scientific cooperation agreements led by Canada, India, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Kingdon’s multiple streams framework is employed to explain how the interplay between policy actors, the policy agenda, policy problems, and policy alternatives leads to the creation of science diplomacy policies. Across the cases, all of the current science diplomacy discourses were applicable, holding stronger explanatory power in the problem and policy streams of the policy process while not obviously matching processes seen in the political stream. The findings also identified a gap in the current framing in understanding how geopolitical dynamics impact the creation of science diplomacy policies and how different policy actors negotiate, exploit, or are subject to these forces. By stabilizing one element of the ongoing debates around science diplomacy, the paper contributes a deeper examination of the array of policy actors and their involvement in different stages of the policy process leading to the formation of scientific cooperation agreements as tools of science diplomacy.
 
Article
Open access (OA) to publications has become a major topic in science policy. However, electronic publication providing free access to research via the internet is more than a decade older, was invented in the 1990s and driven by parts of the scientific community. This paper focuses on two disciplines (astronomy and mathematics) in which green OA is well established. It asks how authors and readers use the central disciplinary repository and how they are thereby included in the communication system of their disciplines. Drawing on an interview study with 20 scientists from both disciplines, we analyze the main characteristics of an inclusion, possible problems that result from it and how they are being solved. The empirical results show that there is a complementarity between the routines of authors and readers that co-stabilize each other. This finding suggests that the emergence of complementary routines could be a necessary condition for the green OA model to succeed.
 
Article
There is a lack of objective evaluative standards for academic work. While this has been recognized in studies of how gatekeepers pass judgment on the works of others, little is known about how scholars deal with the uncertainty about how their work will be evaluated by gatekeepers. Building upon 35 interviews with early career academics in political science and history, this paper explores how junior scholars use appraisal devices to navigate this kind of uncertainty. Appraisal devices offer trusted and knowledgeable appraisals through which scholars are informed whether their work and they themselves are good enough to succeed in academia. Investigating how early career academics rely upon appraisals from assessors (i.e., 'academic mentors'), the study adds to existing literature on uncertainty and worth in academic life by drawing attention to how scholars' anticipatory practices are informed by trusting the judgment of others. The empirical analysis demonstrates that early career academics are confronted with multiple and conflicting appraisals that they must interpret and differentiate between. However, the institutional conditions for dealing with uncertainty about what counts in future evaluations , as well as which individuals generally come to function as assessors, differ between political science and history. This has an impact on both valuation practices and socialization structures. Focusing on what I call practices of appraisal devices, the paper provides a conceptual understanding of how scholars cope with uncertainties about their future. Furthermore, it expands existing theory by demonstrating how scholars' self-concept and desired identities are key to the reflexive ways appraisal devices are used in the course of action.
 
Article
The ‘participatory turn’ in science and technology governance has resulted in the growth of initiatives designed to engage lay people in consultation and decision-making on controversial matters. Almost from the start there has been both enthusiasm and serious critique of these exercises, from scholars and activists. The gaps and challenges are well known. In this paper we indicate the limitations of deliberative mechanisms as regards how they cope with familiar forms of people’s engagement with a given matter. We examine how this phenomenon unfolded at the Barcelona Citizen Conference on the Digitalization of Society; a participatory exercise inspired by the model of consensus conferences that took place in 2014 in Barcelona. Our perspective on the topic is inspired by Sociology of Engagements. Focusing on how participants and organizers deal with individual anecdotes, worries and testimonies reported during the conference, the analysis shows how these formats are ignored, externalized, banned and re-formed during deliberations. This phenomenon is seen as supporting a civic-liberal regime of engagement.
 
Article
The Authors, both medical specialists in forensic medicine, address the issue of the social protection of the disease in Italy. Italian Law distinguishes between diseases not caused by work, protected by the Italian Institute of Social Security (INPS), and those (which also include accidents in the workplace) caused by work activities, protected by INAIL, the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work. This Italian no-profit Institute safeguard workers against physical injuries and occupational diseases. The purpose of this short draft is to summarize, in a few pages and easily for the readers, the heterogenous system of disease social protection in Italy and briefly compare the Italian social protection system with that of other European and non-European countries.
 
Estimated Total Worldwide STEM+Health Journal Research Publications, Proportion of Total Publications with at least one U.S.-based Scientist, and Proportion of U.S. Publications with at least one U.S. University-based Scientist, 1900–2010*
Production and Diversification of New PhD’s in STEM+ and National Gross Enrollment Rate of 18–24-year-olds in Postsecondary Education, 1920–2010
Timeline of Milestones in STEM+Health PhD Production
Total Number of Universities training STEM+ PhDs by Carnegie Classification and National Gross Enrollment Rate of 18–24-year-olds in Postsecondary Education, 1920–2010*
Production of New PhD’s in STEM+ by Carnegie Classification, Public-Private Sector, and National Gross Enrollment Rate of 18–24-year-olds in Postsecondary Education, 1920–2010
Article
Over the course of the 20th century, unprecedented growth in scientific discovery was fueled by broad growth in the number of university-based scientists. During this period the American undergraduate enrollment rate and number of universities with STEM graduate programs each doubled three times and the annual volume of new PhDs doubled six times. This generated the research capacity that allowed the United States to surpass early European-dominated science production and lead for the rest of the century. Here, we focus on origins in the organizational environment and institutional dynamics instead of conventional economic factors. We argue that three trends of such dynamics in the development of American higher education not often considered together—mass undergraduate education, decentralized founding of universities, and flexible mission charters for PhD training—form a process characterized by a term coined here: access symbiosis. Then using a 90-year data series on STEM PhD production and institutional development, we demonstrate the historical progression of these mutually beneficial trends. This access symbiosis in the U.S., and perhaps versions of it in other nations, is likely one critical component of the integration of higher education development with the growing global capacity for scientific discovery. These results are discussed in terms of the contributions of American universities to the Century of Science, recent international trends, and its future viability.
 
Top-cited authors
Harriet Zuckerman
  • Columbia University
Reiner Grundmann
  • University of Nottingham
Ulrike Felt
  • University of Vienna
Sarah de Rijcke
  • Leiden University
Catherine Paradeise
  • Université Gustave Eiffel