Toward a Post-Academic Science Policy: Scientific Communication and the Collapse of the Mertonian Norms
International Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Fall 2006
29 Pages Posted: 4 May 2006
This essay explores the transformation of science and scientific communication from the academic mode that prevailed in the postwar period to an emerging model of post-academic science. A close reading of Robert K. Merton's 1942 essay on the norms of science links the Mertonian norms to the patronage structure of U.S. science during the cold war. Following John Ziman's term post-academic science to describe the emerging standard, I trace how the norms of industrial and academic science are being combined into new forms of collaboration and patronage, and how the academic understanding of science fails to describe emerging practices. In my conclusion, I examine some recent controversies in the public understanding of science and explore how a dialectical, post-academic model helps us understand the present crisis.
Keywords: science, Merton, post-academic, patronage, access to knowledge
JEL Classification: H52, H56, I28, L33, O34, O33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation