Non-instrumental roles of science

Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (1):17-27 (2003)
Nowadays, science is treated an instrument of policy, serving the material interests of government and commerce. Traditionally, however, it also has important non-instrumental social functions, such as the creation of critical scenarios and world pictures, the stimulation of rational attitudes, and the production of enlightened practitioners and independent experts. The transition from academic to ‘post-academic’ science threatens the performance of these functions, which are inconsistent with strictly instrumental modes of knowledge production. In particular, expert objectivity is negated by entanglement with political and commercial interests. We cannot go back to the old academic model for science, but need to consider how to maintain its vital non-instrumental roles.
Keywords instrumental  academic  post-academic  commercial  interests  expertise  impartiality
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-003-0016-y
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