Partisan Scholarship in Technoscientific Controversies: Reflections on Research Experience
2012 (English)In: Science as Culture, ISSN 0950-5431, E-ISSN 1470-1189, Vol. 21, no 3, 335-364 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Several academic traditions have addressed epistemological objectivity and/or partisanship in the study of technoscientific controversies. On the one hand, positivist andrelativist scholars agree that the political commitments of the social researcher should notimpinge on scientific enquiry, while on the other hand, feminist and Marxist scholars notonly take stands in diverse technoscientific debates, but even claim their agendas to bemore credible than those of orthodox scientists. Such perspectives stress that all researchis partisan in one way or another because it involves questions of who controls,manipulates, and establishes decisions, facts, and knowledge. With this in mind, it ispossible to identify different forms of partisan research including capture byparticipants, de facto and overt partisanship, and mercenary scholarship. These differentforms of partisan scholarship are characterised by differences in the motives underlyingepistemological choices of research topic and method, personal commitments to thefields studied, use of research findings in controversies, and positioning of results inwider debates. Two examples help to illustrate partisan scholarship: first, a study of newtechnologies for managing climate change (carbon dioxide capture and storage); andsecond, the construction of the new underground metro system in Athens and itsaccommodation of accessibility standards. Both cases entail partisan positions and raisesimilar concerns about the orthodox epistemological assumptions underpinningsociotechnical systems, especially when it comes to technoscientific controversies.Supporting STS partisan scholarship, therefore, enables greater social and democraticengagement with technoscientific development.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2012. Vol. 21, no 3, 335-364 p.
Partisan STS scholarship, situated epistemology, technoscientific controversy, Carbon Capture Storage (CCS), disability, accessibility, Athens metro
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75219DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2011.644783ISI: 000308075400003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-75219DiVA: diva2:504838