Science/Society

Scientists and their institutions are part of society.  Science takes place and is always applied in social contexts. Society’s willingness to invest in science or to pay attention to and apply its findings is variable and, currently, may be seen as far from optimal. It also varies significantly from one society to another and also within societies. For the relationship between science and society to work, it is necessary for science’s understanding of itself to be at least compatible with what society believes it should be.  The matter is of course complicated by the fact that neither ‘science’ nor ‘society’ are entirely homogenous entities. Developing an adequate theoretical framework for the operation of this relationship cannot be done successfully just by one party to it.  There is thus a need for engagement in the creation of adequate theory, whilst continuing engagement of various types and at different levels may also be a component part of it. 

 

Traditionally, in academic if not commercial settings, science has been developed by experts working within defined disciplines. There are now increasing pressures for science to contribute to resolving complex systemic problems which may benefit from or require transdisciplinary approaches and may also be influenced by social, political or economic factors. This has led to the concept of 'post-normal science', an approach which requires input from multiple sources, a requirement which may be met by forms of engagement.

Collection: Engagement

Collection:

Collection: General Bibiography

Collection: Challenging Ignorance Bibliography