In search of relevance: The changing contract between science and society
This paper presents a framework to study the historical development of the relationship between science and society. We elaborate this relationship as a contract that specifies the mission of scientific research, the rationales for public support for science, and the conditions under which scientists work. These three structural elements will always be part of the contract, but their specific content can vary. The credibility cycle, as a model for scientific practice, helps to describe and understand the consequences of a changing contract for the work of individual scientists. A brief case study of chemistry in the Netherlands demonstrates the usefulness of the framework. We show how concepts of relevance have changed since 1975 and how this affects the practice of academic chemistry.
|Date of creation:||May 2008|
|Date of revision:||May 2008|
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