Accepted paper:

Market-Driven Research: From Research to Receipt in Danish Science Governance


Joakim Juhl (Harvard STS / Aalborg University)

Paper short abstract:

Changes in Danish science governance at the turn of the century represent a new science governance model that I term: "market-driven research" where private industry has exchanged scientists’ democratic self-coordination and become the custodian of science's social purpose and value to society.

Paper long abstract:

Across western democracies the intensified focus on innovation has reconfigured the moral space for science. Although the Mode-2 thesis describes shifts in the scientific knowledge production and the Triple-Helix model prescribes a new role for universities in national innovation systems neither treat the governance changes causing the observed transformations in scientific conduct. This paper details the development of Danish science governance and evaluate the drastic changes that emerged around the shift of the millennium. The Danish development is presented as a manifestation of a new emergent science governance model termed "market-driven research". Recognizing contemporary science governance as a 'model' enables us to describe, identify and compare important features of science's tacit constitution across space and time. This in turn helps us to discuss tendencies and aberrations between locally and temporarily contingent science governance practices. The known science governance models, curiosity-driven research and mission-driven research, stem from postwar America and diverge from contemporary developments. My findings indicate that market-driven research, contrary to basing science's social accountabilities on producing apolitical 'pure' knowledge, or being a political extension of the state, prescribes science to operate as a self-sustained economic unit. In effect, science's social organization has turned from a self-coordinating democratic 'republic' into a professionalized administrative domain which ethos is modeled on that of large-scale commercial corporations. With a majority of executive board members from industry at Danish scientific institutions, neither the Danish state, nor academic peers but private industry defines the value of science.

panel T071
Innovation: Discourses, politics, societies, and blind spots