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Governance Of Science: Ideology and the Future of the Open Society (Issues in Society) Paperback – 12 Jan 1999

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Open University Press; First Edition edition (12 Jan. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0335202349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0335202348
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,527,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Steve Fuller is Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Originally trained in history and philosophy of science, Fuller's research programme, 'social epistemology' has been developed in a journal (founded in 1987) and six books. The most recent are Science (Open UP, 1997) and Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times (1999). In 1998 and 1999, Fuller ran two global cyberconferences for the UK's Economic and Social Research Council: the first on public understanding of science and the second on peer review in the social sciences.


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Most of the debilitating effects of political regimes come from people feeling they cannot either admit their own errors or reveal the errors of others - that is, unless the errors are minor ones. Read the first page
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Format: Paperback
Fuller makes creative use of ideas from political philosophy to come up with a model for science policy. Encapsulating the model is the principle of "the right to be wrong". This is central to the political tradition of "republicanism", which appears to have been sidelined in public debate by its better known rivals, liberalism and communitarianism. Fuller examines and rejects liberal (free market politics) and communitarian (identity politics) arguments for the organization of knowledge. The liberal ideology punishes individuals whose ideas and projects are made "wrong" by the market - not by taking away their freedom to exist but by making it harder for them to move on and acquire intellectual capital. Dissent is highly risky in the absence of a safety-net in the case of failure. The communitarian ideology would forbid the very expression of certain ideas; it places cultural hurdles for individuals to dissent from their community, which in the case of science, is the academic discipline that they are a part of. By contrast, republicanism both encourages free expression and recognizes that specific steps must be taken to provide more than a few risk-takers with the incentive for such expression. Relying as it does on large-scale state-funded resources, "Big Science" undermines the republican ideal, Fuller argues - failure becomes too costly. Now that the question of government versus private funding for science is regularly being debated in the media, Fuller's proposals detailed in the book provide an interesting and thought-provoking alternative to the usual positions. But apart from science policy people, those interested in political theory should also find this book worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
This book is much more politically minded than Fuller's usual stuff and he says things that have needed to be said for a long time - namely, that organised enquiry is threatened by both the political correctness brigade and grant racketeers. There are some pretty wild positive proposals in here as well, which include enabling people to gamble on alternative research programmes as a way of raising public interest (and perhaps even support?) in science. Definitely worth a look, even if with arched eyebrow. Certainly much gutsier than run-of-the-mill science studies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f592a50) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f5b05e8) out of 5 stars Creative and thought-provoking 1 Mar. 2000
By Marilyn Law - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Fuller makes creative use of ideas from political philosophy to come up with a model for science policy. Encapsulating the model is the principle of "the right to be wrong". This is central to the political tradition of "republicanism", which appears to have been sidelined in public debate by its better known rivals, liberalism and communitarianism. Fuller examines and rejects liberal (free market politics) and communitarian (identity politics) arguments for the organization of knowledge. The liberal ideology punishes individuals whose ideas and projects are made "wrong" by the market - not by taking away their freedom to exist but by making it harder for them to move on and acquire intellectual capital. Dissent is highly risky in the absence of a safety-net in the case of failure. The communitarian ideology would forbid the very expression of certain ideas; it places cultural hurdles for individuals to dissent from their community, which in the case of science, is the academic discipline that they are a part of. By contrast, republicanism both encourages free expression and recognizes that specific steps must be taken to provide more than a few risk-takers with the incentive for such expression. Relying as it does on large-scale state-funded resources, "Big Science" undermines the republican ideal, Fuller argues - failure becomes too costly. Now that the question of government versus private funding for science is regularly being debated in the media, Fuller's proposals detailed in the book provide an interesting and thought-provoking alternative to the usual positions. But apart from science policy people, those interested in political theory should also find this book worth a read.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90c18df8) out of 5 stars Gutsy defence of open science 29 Jan. 2000
By Courtney Pearson (courtney_pearsn@hotmail.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is much more politically minded than Fuller's usual stuff and he says things that have needed to be said for a long time - namely, that organised enquiry is threatened by both the political correctness brigade and grant racketeers. There are some pretty wild positive proposals in here as well, which include enabling people to gamble on alternative research programmes as a way of raising public interest (and perhaps even support?) in science. Definitely worth a look, even if with arched eyebrow. Certainly much gutsier than run-of-the-mill science studies.
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