I am interested in the epistemic modernization of the relations among the scientific, industrial, political, and civil society fields.
For centuries scientists have had to defend the precarious autonomy of their concepts, methods, and research agendas from attempts by governments, religions, and industries to influence them. Of course, extra-field influence can be generative. For example, the needs of the military and industry have helped to spur the development of whole research fields, from thermodynamics to chemistry. However, the funding priorities of the patrons of science also shape the contours of dominant and subordinate research programs in many research fields, and the resulting dominant research programs are not always aligned with a broad public interest. Continue reading