Thursday, February 23, 2012

In name of science: confusion.

Science and Public Policy is a leading international journal on public policies for science, technology and innovation. It covers all types of science and technology in both developed and developing countries.
(From the journal webpage; red type by me)

Oxford Journals (by Oxford University Press) is a well known publisher of academic journals. One of his titles (Science and Public Policy) tells a lot about the prevailing confusion between science and technology, and about the continuing process of appropriation of technology and innovation under the name of science.
This is a "social battlefield", where scientists try to expand the limits of their fiefdoms and to integrate very large and important non science areas (technology and innovation), in a quest for power and influence under the banner of science. This allows scientists to claim funds, policies, protocol importance, and privileges in the definition and management of policies related to technology and innovation.
The message is clear: in name of science, problems of technology and innovation are to be discussed as issues of science and public policy - not as technology and public policy, not innovation and public policy.
It also makes a subliminar suggestion that technology and innovation are the same thing, or directly related, and that they must be discussed as "science issues". As well as the usual "linear model" idea: science as the cornerstone and origin of technology and innovation.

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