Scientific enterprise

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In contrast to the conventional standard term of science (→ philosophy of science ), scientific enterprise denotes the entirety of the internationally interlinked scientific or scientific institutions in which scientific research takes place on a daily basis, with their administrative rules and bureaucratic routines, created and financed by citizens, the state and companies .

Meaning of the term

In the 20th century, the word science business replaced the term “ scholarly republic” (lat. Res publica literaria ). Even in the 19th century, science in Germany was primarily understood as a republican community of researchers .

The English term scientific community ( scientific community , or more precisely community of scientists ), however, expresses even today from the aspect of a community of researchers and their specific forms of action.

The concept of the scientific enterprise, which has meanwhile largely established itself, particularly emphasizes the institutionalization and economization of science, which developed in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, the term also describes the everyday nature of research in the context of social organization (→ sociology of science ). In the sense of the busyness of scientists, everything in the everyday research process outside of the scientific knowledge (acquisition) itself lying social action (doing, toleration, omission), especially personnel and micro politics, publication practice, state and / or third-party funding, teaching and / or . Training, infrastructure, distribution of funds addressed.

Institutionalization of the scientific community

An early documented form of organized science-like teaching can be found in ancient Greece with the Platonic Academy , which (with interruptions) lasted into late antiquity .

Modern science traditionally takes place in universities that go back to this idea. Scientists are also employed at academies , offices, privately financed research institutes , consulting firms and in business .

An important public funding organization in Germany is the German Research Foundation , which funds project-related research at universities and non-university institutions. There are also other research organizations, such as the Fraunhofer Society , the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers , the Max Planck Society and the Leibniz Association , which operate their own research institutes - financed by the federal and state governments.

In Austria the DFG corresponds to the Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Research (FWF) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), in Switzerland and France the national research funds . Other funds are z. B. endowed by large industries or the European Patent Office .

Communication, interdisciplinarity and transfer

In addition to scientific publications , the exchange with other researchers takes place through specialist conferences , at congresses of international umbrella organizations and scientific unions (e.g. IUGG , COSPAR , IUPsyS, ISWA, SSRN) or the UN organization. Invitations to seminars , institute visits, working groups or visiting professorships also play a role. Stays abroad and international research projects are also of great importance.

For interdisciplinary research, a number of institutes have been created in the last few decades in which industrial and university research work together (science transfer). However, some companies also have their own research facilities in which basic research is carried out.

Participants in the scientific community

Actual participation in the scientific community is fundamentally not linked to any prerequisites or conditions: scientific activity outside the academic or industrial scientific community is open to everyone and is also legally covered by the freedom of research . Universities also offer participation in teaching as guest auditors without any preconditions . However, essential scientific achievements outside of a professional context have remained the absolute exception. As a rule, the participants are organized in their respective subject-specific scientific community , the so-called science community .

The state-funded, professional activity as a scientist is usually tied to the requirement of completing a degree, for which in turn the university entrance qualification is usually necessary. Conducting publicly funded positions in research and the application of public research funds require the promotion , the Chair of the Habilitation . In the USA, instead of the habilitation, the tenure track system is used , which was also to be introduced in Germany in the form of the junior professorship in 2002 , although it is criticized that a real tenure track, in which the young scientists are given a permanent position in the event of corresponding performance is guaranteed, is still an exception in Germany.

Accordingly, science definitely represents a labor market that is subject to certain economic cycles , in which the young, in particular, take a high risk given the small number of permanent positions. In particular, the increased participation of women in doctoral studies and post- doctoral qualifications as well as the focus on the more recent university political developments and thus the restriction of the thematic breadth of teaching and research leads to increased competitive pressure.

Dealing with the scientific community

For science policy become more important has science research , scientific practice with empirical methods to investigate and attempt to describe. Among other things, methods of scientometry are used. The results of science research in turn have an influence on research policy decisions within the framework of evaluation processes and thus indirectly on the scientific community.

The sociology of knowledge , as well as cultural and social science, examines social issues within the scientific community as well as the social contexts and relationships between science, politics and the rest of society . “ The concept of culture also takes a look at those non-professional behaviors that, as action routines, technical language, clothing regulations, habitus, etc. also characterize the scientific community as a specific social field. "

The French sociologist and philosopher Bruno Latour , founder of the actor-network theory, made important contributions to the sociological view of the scientific community . Based on his 1975 studies at the Salk Institute in California, he developed a social constructivist view of research cultures in scientific institutions.

The progressive institutionalization of the scientific community through to large-scale research (“ big science ”) is also increasingly viewed critically. Since the end of the Cold War , a technology debate has flared up in predominantly Western societies in which research, for example on atomic and nuclear physics or genetic engineering, is discussed less as a blessing than as a threat to democratic society. To what extent, however, viable alternatives exist, such as the so-called citizen science (English " Citizen Science ") to ensure greater transparency and democratic control in the sciences, is highly controversial.

Literary processing

The natural scientist (chemist) and writer Carl Djerassi described the not only empirical but structural contradiction between the scientific process of knowledge (as the selfless pursuit of truth) and the organization of the scientific community (in the form of the scientific community) as two sides of the same coin. In the postscript of his satirical novel " Cantor's Dilemma " (1989) Djerassi identified the double character of science as follows:

"Science is both disinterested pursuit of truth and a community, with its own customs, its own social contract. (In German, for example: Science means both selfless pursuit of truth and a community with its own customs and traditions, ideas and laws. ) "

In fiction, science is a frequently encountered subject . In the 1930s and in the following years, the British author Charles Percy Snow published numerous novels that deal with academic research in state institutions. Also worth mentioning is the German English scholar and writer Dietrich Schwanitz , who in his novel “ Der Zirkel ” (1998) drew a satirical, caustic picture of the times and morals of scientific activity in the German university system of the 1990s, in which this social area was ultimately unreformable appears. The scientific activities of non-university research centers, i.e. research institutions with in some cases very large research infrastructures , are processed literarily in the novels published in 2012 by the natural scientist Bernhard Kegel (" A deep fall ") and the team of authors Ann-Monika Pleitgen and Ilja Bohnet (" Particle Acceleration "), which put science fraud at the center of the action.

Individual evidence

  1. Barbara Strobel: What they became, where they went. Results of a study on doctoral and post-doctoral candidates from the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin ( memento of the original from March 31, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 213 kB), in: gender politik online , requested on August 26, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Thomas Ernst , Bettina Bock von Wülfingen, Stefan Borrmann and Christian P. Gudehus (eds.): Science and Power , Westfälisches Dampfboot, Münster 2004, ISBN 3-89691-581-9 .
  3. Bruno Latour, Steve Woolgar: Laboratory Life. The Social Construction of Scientific Facts. Beverly Hills 1979, ISBN 0-8039-0993-4 . (Laboratory Life. The Construction of Scientific Facts. 2nd ed., Princeton 1986, ISBN 0-691-02832-X .)
  4. Derek de Solla Price : Little Science, Big Science. Von der Studierstube zur Großforschung , Suhrkamp, ​​1982, ISBN 978-3518076484 .
  5. a b Joachim Müller-Jung : Avanti Dilettanti? Research by laypeople for laypeople: After the speech by Academy President Günter Stock , the so-called “citizen science” is the subject of heated debate . In: FAZ on September 3, 2014.
  6. Democratization of Science: Pluralism is Not Desirable , TAZ , July 4, 2014.
  7. Carl Djerassi : Cantor's Dilemma. A Novel , Penguin, p. 229, 1991.
  8. Spiegel article of December 18, 1963 , accessed on September 21, 2014.
  9. Dietrich Schwanitz : Der Zirkel , Eichborn Verlag, 1998, ISBN 978-3-8218-0560-3 .
  10. Bernhard Kegel : A deep case , Mare-Buchverlag, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86648-165-7 , as an audio book with Radioropa audio book, unabridged reading by Bert Stevens, ISBN 978-3-8368-0641-1 .
  11. ^ Bohnet Pleitgen : Particle Acceleration , Argument-Verlag, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86754-191-6 .