Advanced

Revisiting 'Weinberg's Choice': Classic Tensions in the Concept of Scientific Merit

Hellström, Tomas LU and Jacob, Merle LU (2012) In Minerva 50(3). p.381-396
Abstract
Alvin Weinberg's classic and much debated two articles in Minerva, "Criteria for Scientific Choice" (1963) and "Criteria for Scientific Choice II - The Two Cultures" (1964), represent two of the first and most important attempts to create a meta-discourse about priority setting in science policy, and many of the points advanced remain relevant. The goal of this paper is to elaborate on the relevance of some of Weinberg's original arguments to priority setting today. We have singled out four issues for attention: The tension between scientific and institutional choice, the assumptions behind the triad of scientific, technological and social merit, the elusive 'externality from size' argument for funding promoted by Weinberg, and finally the... (More)
Alvin Weinberg's classic and much debated two articles in Minerva, "Criteria for Scientific Choice" (1963) and "Criteria for Scientific Choice II - The Two Cultures" (1964), represent two of the first and most important attempts to create a meta-discourse about priority setting in science policy, and many of the points advanced remain relevant. The goal of this paper is to elaborate on the relevance of some of Weinberg's original arguments to priority setting today. We have singled out four issues for attention: The tension between scientific and institutional choice, the assumptions behind the triad of scientific, technological and social merit, the elusive 'externality from size' argument for funding promoted by Weinberg, and finally the problems involved in the idea of basic science as an 'overhead cost' for applied science, and applied science as an 'overhead' on a sectoral mission. These four issues will be elaborated from a policy perspective and connected to present day challenges for science and technology policy. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Science and technology policy, Scientific choice, Applied science, Big, Science, Relevance
in
Minerva
volume
50
issue
3
pages
381 - 396
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000309257300007
  • scopus:84866757382
ISSN
1573-1871
DOI
10.1007/s11024-012-9203-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
68fd9d42-4a67-4876-8409-62e796839dd9 (old id 3188057)
date added to LUP
2012-12-06 11:11:09
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:24:42
@article{68fd9d42-4a67-4876-8409-62e796839dd9,
  abstract     = {Alvin Weinberg's classic and much debated two articles in Minerva, "Criteria for Scientific Choice" (1963) and "Criteria for Scientific Choice II - The Two Cultures" (1964), represent two of the first and most important attempts to create a meta-discourse about priority setting in science policy, and many of the points advanced remain relevant. The goal of this paper is to elaborate on the relevance of some of Weinberg's original arguments to priority setting today. We have singled out four issues for attention: The tension between scientific and institutional choice, the assumptions behind the triad of scientific, technological and social merit, the elusive 'externality from size' argument for funding promoted by Weinberg, and finally the problems involved in the idea of basic science as an 'overhead cost' for applied science, and applied science as an 'overhead' on a sectoral mission. These four issues will be elaborated from a policy perspective and connected to present day challenges for science and technology policy.},
  author       = {Hellström, Tomas and Jacob, Merle},
  issn         = {1573-1871},
  keyword      = {Science and technology policy,Scientific choice,Applied science,Big,Science,Relevance},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {381--396},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Minerva},
  title        = {Revisiting 'Weinberg's Choice': Classic Tensions in the Concept of Scientific Merit},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11024-012-9203-9},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2012},
}