Call for Abstracts for symposium “Science Studies between Science Policy and the Politics of Science” at ESHS 2022 (Brussels, 7-10 September 2022)

Call for Abstracts for symposium “Science Studies between Science Policy and the Politics of Science” at ESHS 2022 (Brussels, 7-10 September 2022) organised by Fabian Link (Wuppertal), Jan Surman (Prague), Monika Wulz (Lucerne)

Studying the sciences has a long connection to underscoring the practical and political side of scientific research, epitomised by British historian J.D. Bernal and Hubert Laitko in the GDR, the scholarly tradition of Polish “Science of Science” since the interwar period, or Praxeology by Polish philosopher Tadeusz Kotarbiński. In the 1960s this connection became more tuned toward an applied history of science, now represented by scholars like Eugene Garfield or Gennady Dobrov. By then, science studies’ aim was as much to analyse sciences, as to propose the ways of their perfection, making “science of science” a meta-science of modernity. In the 1970s and 1980s sociological oriented science studies developed  a poststructural critique of past and present scientific practices in terms of their military application and male dominance, becoming one of the driving forces behind changes at universities. Moreover, scholars also used science studies’ research to inform state science policy.

In our section we want to look at processes in which the study of science has been discussed and/or practiced as an applied, practice-related science governing or advising state science policy or, on the contrary, critically engaging with the role of science in state policy. Such cases range from science studies serving global peace and mutual understanding (ICHST, UNESCO projects, global planning endeavours etc.) or developing economic perspectives on the role of science in society, through meso-level of tuning national science systems with the help of cybernetic-based science of science and of sociological science studies, or merging science systems together (e.g. managing of science systems after border shifts 1918/1945, or the integration of the GDR’s science system into that of the FRG after 1989), to local case studies, such as the application of sociology and psychology of science in reform of research and higher education units or “experiments” with scientifically based operation in laboratories. In such endeavours, science studies actors were presenting themselves as both scholars and political actors, producing also enticing narratives about science’s importance for the modern society and contributing to the development of the idea of the ‘knowledge society’ on both sides of the Iron Curtain

We are particularly interested in studies analysing the situation in Central-Eastern Europe and Global South countries, as well as those highlighting transnational cooperation.

Proposals (an abstract of max 250 words + a short bio or link to personal webpage) should be sent to panel organizers (flink [at] uni-wuppertal.de, surman [at] mua.cas.cz, monika.wulz [at] unilu.ch) by Monday, December 27, 2021. For more information about the conference please visit https://eshsbrussels2022.com/calls/


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