Communism, universalism and disinterestedness: Re-examining contemporary support among academics for Merton's scientific norms [Book Review]
Journal of Academic Ethics 6 (1):67-78 (2008)
This paper re-examines the relevance of three academic norms to contemporary academic life – communism, universalism and disinterestedness – based on the work of Robert Merton. The results of a web-based survey elicited responses to a series of value statements and were analysed using the weighted average method and through cross-tabulation. Results indicate strong support for communism as an academic norm defined in relation to sharing research results and teaching materials as opposed to protecting intellectual copyright and withholding access. There is more limited support for universalism based on the belief that academic knowledge should transcend national, political, or religious boundaries. Disinterestedness, defined in terms of personal detachment from truth claims, is the least popular contemporary academic norm. Here, the impact of a performative culture is linked to the need for a large number of academics to align their research interests with funding opportunities. The paper concludes by considering the claims of an alternate set of contemporary academic norms including capitalism, particularism and interestedness.
|Keywords||Academic values scientific norms Merton Weber|
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References found in this work BETA
The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge.Peter Berger & Thomas Luckmann - 1966 - Anchor Books.
The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations.Robert King Merton - 1973 - University of Chicago Press.
The Corporatism of the Universal: The Role of Intellectuals in the Modern World.P. Bourdieu - 1989 - Télos 1989 (81):99-110.
Exiles From Eden: Religion and the Academic Vocation in America.Mark R. Schwehn - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
The Universal Values of Science and China’s Nobel Prize Pursuit.Cong Cao - 2014 - Minerva 52 (2):141-160.
Science Bubbles.David Budtz Pedersen & Vincent F. Hendricks - 2014 - Philosophy and Technology 27 (4):503-518.
Pesticides and the Patent Bargain.Cristian Timmermann - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (1):1-19.
The Normative Orientations of Climate Scientists.Dennis Bray & Hans von Storch - forthcoming - Science and Engineering Ethics:1-17.
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