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Institutional shaping of research priorities: A case study on avian influenza

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  • Wallace, Matthew L.
  • Ràfols, Ismael

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.

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  • Wallace, Matthew L. & Ràfols, Ismael, 2018. "Institutional shaping of research priorities: A case study on avian influenza," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(10), pages 1975-1989.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:10:p:1975-1989
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.07.005
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Preparation > Infrastructure and Research
    2. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Avian Influenza (H5N1)

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    2. Lin Zhang & Wenjing Zhao & Jianhua Liu & Gunnar Sivertsen & Ying Huang, 2020. "Do national funding organizations properly address the diseases with the highest burden?: Observations from China and the UK," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(2), pages 1733-1761, November.
    3. Huang, Shengzhi & Huang, Yong & Bu, Yi & Luo, Zhuoran & Lu, Wei, 2023. "Disclosing the interactive mechanism behind scientists’ topic selection behavior from the perspective of the productivity and the impact," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2).
    4. Janzwood, Scott, 2021. "R&D priority-setting for global catastrophic risks: The case of the NASA planetary defense mission," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(6).
    5. Ciarli, Tommaso & Ràfols, Ismael, 2019. "The relation between research priorities and societal demands: The case of rice," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 949-967.
    6. Pemsl, Diemuth E. & Staver, Charles & Hareau, Guy & Alene, Arega D. & Abdoulaye, Tahirou & Kleinwechter, Ulrich & Labarta, Ricardo & Thiele, Graham, 2022. "Prioritizing international agricultural research investments: lessons from a global multi-crop assessment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(4).
    7. Beniamino Callegari & Christophe Feder, 2022. "A Literature Review of Pandemics and Development: the Long-Term Perspective," Economics of Disasters and Climate Change, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 183-212, March.
    8. Ferran Giones & Daniel Laufs & Carsten Schultz, 2020. "Co-creating Science Commercialization Opportunities for Blue Biotechnologies: The FucoSan Project," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(14), pages 1-19, July.
    9. Beniamino Callegari & Christophe Feder, 2022. "The long-term economic effects of pandemics: toward an evolutionary approach [Epidemics and trust: the case of the Spanish flu]," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 715-735.
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    12. Ávila-Robinson, Alfonso & Islam, Nazrul & Sengoku, Shintaro, 2019. "Co-evolutionary and systemic study on the evolution of emerging stem cell-based therapies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 324-339.
    13. Kieron Flanagan & Elvira Uyarra & Iris Wanzenböck, 2021. "Towards a problem-oriented regional industrial policy: possibilities for public intervention in framing, valuation and market creation," Working Papers 52, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Apr 2021.
    14. Buehling, Kilian, 2021. "Changing research topic trends as an effect of publication rankings – The case of German economists and the Handelsblatt Ranking," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3).

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