How does governance shape research content? Two approaches waiting for integration
With this review, we want to explore contributions by science policy studies and the sociology of science to our understanding of the impact of governance on research content. This is not a straightforward task because the two fields are usually considered as separate and moving apart rather than converging. Recent reviews of science policy studies or science policy and innovation studies see them as detached from the sociology of science (Martin 2012; Martin et al. 2012; Trousset 2014). Jasanoff’s (2010) perspective is an exception because she sees both fields belonging to the large interdisciplinary enterprise of science, technology and society (STS) studies, albeit without specifying interactions between the fields that would justify this assessment. Bibliometric studies looking at mutual citations found relatively few of them and agree that the sociology of science, science policy studies and bibliometrics have moved apart since the 1970s (Van den Besselaar 2000; van den Besselaar 2001; Bhupatiraju et al. 2012). This separation is confirmed by the limited impact of a first attempt to establish a political sociology of science (Blume 1974), the attempt to link science policy decisions on research funding to the interests of science studies (Cozzens 1986), and of the attempt to re-open a dialogue between bibliometrics and the sociology of science (Leydesdorff 1989). A more recent attempt to revive the idea of a political sociology of science (Frickel and Moore 2005b) appears to be more successful, possibly due to the intense interest in politics developed by “STS as movement” (Rip 1999; for an illustration see Woodhouse et al. 2002). However, the initiators of this revival also observe that the “new political sociology of science” constitutes a separate body of scholarship (Frickel and Moore 2005b: 7).
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Jochen GLÄSER is a senior researcher at the Center for Technology and Society, TU Berlin. His major research interests include the sociology of science, organizational sociology and sociological research methods. His current projects address bibliometric methods for measuring the diversity of research, the impact of authority relations on scientific innovation, and responses by German universities to research evaluation.