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Book part
Publication date: 15 February 2017

Matt Sleat

In this chapter I explore the issues of whose interest and rights are at stake when social scientists conduct their research. I caution that the ethical considerations…

Abstract

In this chapter I explore the issues of whose interest and rights are at stake when social scientists conduct their research. I caution that the ethical considerations, values and principles that pertain to the social sciences are not always the same as those which rightly underpin the biomedical sciences and so not all should be imported. In particular I consider the dangers of applying a ‘participant protection model’ to social science research. I suggest that the social sciences must be regulated through a framework that understands and enables these differences rather than misconstrues and hinders good social science research.

Details

Finding Common Ground: Consensus in Research Ethics Across the Social Sciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-130-8

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 9 November 2022

Robert Braun, Anne Loeber, Malene Vinther Christensen, Joshua Cohen, Elisabeth Frankus, Erich Griessler, Helmut Hönigmayer and Johannes Starkbaum

This study aims to discuss science governance in Europe and the network of associated nonprofit institutions. The authors posit that this network, which comprises both…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to discuss science governance in Europe and the network of associated nonprofit institutions. The authors posit that this network, which comprises both (partial) learning organizations and non-learning organizations, has been observed to postpone taking up “responsibility” as an issue in science governance and funding decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper discusses the challenge of learning and policy implementation within the European science governance system. By exploring how learning on responsible innovation (RI) in this governance system can be provoked, it addresses the question how Senge’s insights in organizational learning can clarify discourses on and practices of RI and responsibility in research. This study explores the potential of a new organizational form, that of Social Labs, to support learning on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in standing governance organizations.

Findings

This study concludes that Social Labs are a suitable format for enacting the five disciplines as identified by Senge, and a Social Lab may turn into a learning organization, be it a temporary one. Responsibility in research and innovation is conducive for learning in the setting of a Social Lab, and Social Labs act as intermediary organizations, which not merely pass on information among actors but also actively give substantive shape to what they convey from a practice-informed, normative orientation.

Research limitations/implications

This empirical work on RRI-oriented Social Labs therefore suggests that Social Lab–oriented temporary, intermediary learning organizations present a promising form for implementing complex normative policies in a networked, nonhierarchical governance setting.

Practical implications

Based on this research funding and governance organizations in research, policy-makers in other domains may take up and create such intermediary organizations to aid learning in (science) governance.

Social implications

This research suggests that RRI-oriented Social Labs present a promising form for implementing complex normative policies, thus integrate learning on and by responsible practices in various governance settings.

Originality/value

European science governance is characterized by a network of partial Learning Organization (LOs) and Non-Learning Organization (nLOs) who postpone decision-making on topics around “responsibility” and “solving societal challenges” or delegate authority to reviewers and individual actors, filtering possibilities for collaborative transformation toward RRI. social lab (SLs) are spaces that can address social problems or social challenges in an open, action-oriented and creative manner. As such, they may function as temporary, intermediary LOs bringing together diverse actors from a specific context to work on and learn about issues of science and society where standing organizations avoid doing so. Taken together, SLs may offer temporary organizational structures and spaces to move beyond top-down exercise of power or lack of real change to more open, deliberative and creative forms of sociopolitical coordination between multiple actors cutting across realms of state, practitioners of research and innovation and civil society. By taking the role of temporary LOs, they may support existing research and innovation organizations and research governance to become more flexible and adaptive.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 July 2014

David J. Hess and Scott Frickel

This Introduction gives a historical and theoretical overview of this volume on Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age, which showcases…

Abstract

This Introduction gives a historical and theoretical overview of this volume on Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age, which showcases original research in political sociology of science targeting the changes in scientific and technological policy and practice associated with the rise of neoliberal thought and policies since the 1970s. We argue that an existing family of field theoretic frameworks and empirical field analyses provides a particularly useful set of ideas and approaches for the meso-level understanding of these historical changes in ways that complement as well as challenge other theory traditions in sociology of science, broadly defined. The collected papers exhibit a dual focus on sciencesinterfield relations, connecting science and science policy to political, economic, educational, and other fields and on the institutional logics of scientific fields that pattern expert discourses, practices, and knowledge and shape relations of the scientific field to the rest of the world. By reconceptualizing the central problem for political sociology of science as a problem of field- and inter-field dynamics, and by critically engaging other theory traditions whose assumptions are in some ways undermined by the contemporary history of neoliberalism, we believe these papers collectively chart an important theoretical agenda for future research in the sociology of science.

Details

Fields of Knowledge: Science, Politics and Publics in the Neoliberal Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-668-2

Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12024-618-2

Abstract

Details

Social Sciences: A Dying Fire
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-041-3

Book part
Publication date: 25 September 2013

Odelia Funke

Purpose – This chapter examines the need, and possibilities, for social science research that is grounded in the life sciences.…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter examines the need, and possibilities, for social science research that is grounded in the life sciences.

Design/methodology/approach – The chapter starts with the observation that the social sciences have been tied far too closely to models and concepts in the physical sciences, which has both limited and distorted research findings. The predominant models used in much of social science cannot meet the challenges we face. Examining issues in political science in particular, the author demonstrates the value of a biopolitical perspective for political science research and policy analysis relevant to the challenges we face.

Findings – Studies about human issues should be based on research that considers humans as part of the evolving biological world. Key biopolicy research areas illustrate the value and flexibility of life science models and data. Political science can and should provide important insights to our understanding of socio-political issues and options, but to succeed the discipline must abandon mechanistic models of human nature and motivation and return to an understanding based in the life sciences.

Practical implications (if applicable) – The discussion analyzes the overall strengths and weaknesses of the proposal to adopt a biopolicy approach, and concludes that obstacles, though real, can be overcome. There are opportunities for substantial contributions to social science.

Social implications (if applicable) – Failure to integrate political science with a life sciences perspective will mean a continuation of disciplinary work that is largely irrelevant or inadequate to emerging issues and problems.

Original/value of chapter – The value of this chapter is to highlight the need for a reexamination of the mechanistic models as well as the disciplinary boundaries that control most social science, and political science in particular. It examines widely recognized issues and challenges facing Western societies (and global communities) to illustrate that a life sciences perspective is essential to both analysis and policy options. It is an important consideration for academics (teachers and students) policy researchers, and policy makers as well.

Details

The world of biology and politics: Organization and research areas
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-728-3

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Harry F. Dahms

Any endeavor to circumscribe, with a certain degree of precision, the nature of the relationship between social science and critical theory would appear to be daunting…

Abstract

Any endeavor to circumscribe, with a certain degree of precision, the nature of the relationship between social science and critical theory would appear to be daunting. Over the course of the past century, and especially since the end of World War II, countless efforts have been made in economics, psychology, political science, and sociology, to illuminate the myriad manifestations of modern social life, from a multiplicity of angles. It is doubtful that it would be possible to do justice to all the different variants of social science, in an assessment of their relationship to critical theory. Moreover, given the proliferation of critical theories since the 1980s, the effort to devise a “map” that would reflect the particular orientations and intricacies of each approach to critical theory also would be exacting, in its own right.1

Details

The Vitality Of Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-798-8

Book part
Publication date: 15 February 2017

Nathan Emmerich

This chapter offers an anthropological commentary on the work of the Academy of Social Sciences’ Research Ethics Group and the process through which five generic ethical…

Abstract

This chapter offers an anthropological commentary on the work of the Academy of Social Sciences’ Research Ethics Group and the process through which five generic ethical principles for social science research was created. I take an anthropological approach to the subject and, following the structure of Macdonald’s essay Making Research Ethics (2010), I position myself in relation to the process. I discuss various features of the REGs work including the enduring influence of medicine and biomedical research ethics on the ethics and ethics governance of social science research; the absence of philosophers and applied ethicists and their incompatibility with the kind of endeavour pursued by the Research Ethics group; and the antipathy many felt towards the creation of a common code resulting in a preference for generic principles. This chapter offers insight into the work of the Research Ethics Group and the creation of the five ethical principles for social science research, subsequently adopted by the Academy of Social Sciences.

Details

Finding Common Ground: Consensus in Research Ethics Across the Social Sciences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-130-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 July 2008

Harry F. Dahms

Any endeavor to circumscribe, with a certain degree of precision, the nature of the relationship between social science and critical theory would appear to be daunting…

Abstract

Any endeavor to circumscribe, with a certain degree of precision, the nature of the relationship between social science and critical theory would appear to be daunting. Over the course of the past century, and especially since the end of World War II, countless efforts have been made in economics, psychology, political science, and sociology to illuminate the myriad manifestations of modern social life from a multiplicity of angles. It is doubtful that it would be possible to do justice to all the different variants of social science in an assessment of their relationship to critical theory. Moreover, given the proliferation of critical theories since the 1980s, the effort to devise a “map” that would reflect the particular orientations and intricacies of each approach to critical theory would also be exacting in its own right.1

Details

No Social Science without Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-538-3

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