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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | RMZ | Events | RMZ Jour fixe/ Stop evaluating science – a historical-sociological argument

RMZ Jour fixe/ Stop evaluating science – a historical-sociological argument

Olof Hallonsten (Lund University)
  • When Jun 12, 2024 from 11:00 to 12:30
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Although science has been a formidably successful force of social and technological development in the modern era, and a main reason for the wealth and well-being of current societies compared to previous times, a fundamental distrust characterizes its current status in society. According to prevalent discourse, science is insufficiently productive and in need of stricter governance and bureaucratic management, with performance evaluation by the means of quantitative metrics as a key tool to increase efficiency. The basis of this notion appears to be a belief that the key or only purpose of science is to drive economic growth, or sustainable development in combination with economic growth. I analyze and deconstruct these beliefs with the help of theory from the classic sociology of science, as well as more recent conceptualizations of economization, democratization, and commodification of scientific knowledge and the institution of science. I thereby add a historical-sociological analysis to the current debate over evaluation in science, to conclude that the current ubiquity of performance evaluation in science for the most part is pointless and counterproductive, and that this state of science policy is in dire need of reevaluation in order to secure science’s continued productivity and contribution to social and technological innovation.






Meeting-ID: 661 3771 2462
Passwort: 333635