Institutional Shaping of Research Priorities: A Case Study on Avian Influenza

42 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2016 Last revised: 27 Sep 2018

See all articles by Matthew Wallace

Matthew Wallace

INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politecnica de Valencia

Ismael Ràfols

Ingenio (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València; Leiden University - Centre for Science and Technology Studies

Date Written: July 1, 2018

Abstract

Since outbreaks in 2003, avian influenza has received a considerable amount of funding and become a controversial science policy issue in various respects. Like in many other global and multidisciplinary societal problems fraught with high levels of uncertainty, a variety of perspectives have emerged over how to “tackle” avian influenza and public voices have expressed concern over how research funds are being allocated. In this article, we document if and how research agendas are being informed by public policy debates. We use qualitative and quantitative approaches to examine the relations between expectations of outcomes of public science and the existing research landscape. Interviews with a cross-section of stakeholders reveal a wide range of perspectives and values associated with the nature and objectives of existing research avenues. We find that the landscape of public avian influenza research is not directly driven by expectations of societal outcomes. Instead, it is shaped by three institutional drivers: pharmaceutical industry priorities, publishing and public research funding pressures, and the mandates of science-based policy or public health organizations. These insights suggest that, in research prioritization, funding agencies should embrace a broad perspective of research governance that explicitly considers underlying institutional drivers. Deliberative approaches in public priority setting might help to make agendas more plural and diverse and thus more responsive to the contested and uncertain nature of avian influenza research.

Keywords: Research landscape, Research portfolios, Public science, Priority-setting, Avian influenza, Pandemic risk

Suggested Citation

Wallace, Matthew and Ràfols, Ismael, Institutional Shaping of Research Priorities: A Case Study on Avian Influenza (July 1, 2018). SWPS 2016-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2745137 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2745137

Matthew Wallace (Contact Author)

INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politecnica de Valencia ( email )

Camino de Vera s/n, Edif.8E, Univ.Politec.Valencia
Valencia, 46022
Spain

Ismael Ràfols

Ingenio (CSIC-UPV), Universitat Politècnica de València ( email )

Camí de Vera s/n, Edif.8E, Univ.Politec.Valencia
València, País Valencià 46022
Spain

Leiden University - Centre for Science and Technology Studies ( email )

Leiden
Netherlands

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
46
Abstract Views
357
PlumX Metrics