Research Funding's 'Endorsement Effect' on Scientific Boundary Work and Research Production: Government Legitimization of Alternative Medicine

35 Pages Posted: 12 May 2018 Last revised: 29 May 2018

See all articles by Ryan Whalen

Ryan Whalen

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: April 24, 2018

Abstract

This article demonstrates how science and technology policy can have an “endorsement effect” that legitimizes and increases the salience of scientific research areas. The validation and increased attention provided by state funding policies can support the discursive boundary work of interested parties as they seek to situate research fields within mainstream science. Increased validity and attention can subsequently lead to increased research activity, above and beyond that funded by the state. This article demonstrates the endorsement effect by examining how the founding of the NIH’s Office of Alternative Medicine affected both the discourse surrounding the legitimacy of alternative medicine, and the production of alternative medicine related patents. The existence of this endorsement effect suggests that policymakers should consider both the direct effects that innovation policy might have on researchers’ incentives as well as the endorsement effects it can have on the research system.

Keywords: Innovation Policy, Research Funding, Policy Evaluation, Patent Policy, Endorsement Effect, Alternative Medicine

Suggested Citation

Whalen, Ryan, Research Funding's 'Endorsement Effect' on Scientific Boundary Work and Research Production: Government Legitimization of Alternative Medicine (April 24, 2018). Science and Public Policy, Forthcoming ; University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2018/023. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3170824

Ryan Whalen (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
China

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