Paper Title Rethinking-Science: Regional Science Policies as Evidence of the Agora?
Presentateur : PERRY, Beth
Paper Abstract :


Re-thinking Science' develops a framework for the evolving knowledge society based on four conceptual pillars: the co-evolution of Mode 2 science within a Mode 2 society, the contextualisation of science, the production of socially robust knowledge and the social distribution of expertise (Nowotny, Gibbons and Scott, 2001). A core element of this thesis relates to the notion of the 'agora' a social space where science is discussed, negotiated and contested by a range of actors. In the 'agora' discourses about criteria for science become more commonplace, with implications for what science gets done, where, by whom, how, for what reasons and with what overall effects. This paper considers the extent to which the new English regional science policies which have emerged since 2000 offer a fertile context for exploring these dynamics in action. It focuses upon developments in the North West of England following the controversial 'DIAMOND' Synchrotron Radiation Source decision of March 2000 and the subsequent process of the negotiation and formulation of regional scientific priorities through the regional science strategy and the establishment of the North West Science Council. First, the paper analyses the articulation of differing rationales for science in terms of expectation, relationship to territory and alternative conceptualisations of 'international excellence' and 'regional needs' expressed during the DIAMOND debate itself. Second, it analyses the process of designing and implementing the embryonic 'regional science policy' in the North West and traces the gradual process through which the boundaries between 'science' and 'society' that had seemingly been eroded during the DIAMOND debate were re-established. In particular, it addresses the question of whether greater contestation of science within the 'agora' has thus far led to increased intervention in scientific practices.