Science in a democratic republic

Philosophy of Science 68 (4):545-564 (2001)
Polanyi's and Popper's defenses of the status quo in science are explored and criticized. According to Polanyi, science resembles a hierarchical and tradition-oriented republic and is necessarily conservative; according to Popper's political philosophy the best republic is social democratic and reformist. By either philosopher's lights science is not a model republic; yet each claims it to be so. Both authors are inconsistent in failing to apply their own ideals. Both underplay the extent to which science depends upon the wider society; and neither makes sufficient allowance for the ways it can disrupt the social order. Polanyi even demands extraterritorial exemption for science from the scrutiny of incompetent outsiders. In their different ways, each minimizes the problems of institutionalized science and fails to consider the value, even the long-term necessity, for science of democratic criticism and control. Transnational control of science is an open challenge for democratic polities
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DOI 10.1086/392942
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Struan Jacobs & Phil Mullins (2011). Relations Between Karl Popper and Michael Polanyi. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (3):426-435.

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