Simone Rödder is a postdoc at the Institute for Science and Technology Studies (IWT) at the
Organised byESRC Genomics Forum
Venue3rd Floor, St John's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ
Details: Scientists are increasingly facing expectations to address audiences other than their peers. Current changes in the relationship between science and the media furthermore raise the question how reliable scientific knowledge can be produced and communicated despite these changes. What does the relevance of the media and demands for visibility mean for the professional self-understanding of scientists? Is media prominence converted into scientific reputation? And what are the implications for the process of knowledge production: Do sound bites eventually replace arguments?
As a case in point, the field of human genome research with its stars and symbolic sequences has been studied by interviewing 55 researchers of the publicly and privately funded genome projects in France, Germany, the UK and the USA.The result of the visibility assessment for the genome field: Even though a media orientation can be found amongst the genome researchers, they insist on the primacy of epistemic criteria for their research. As geeks, missionaries, advocates of knowledge and public scientists, the genome researchers develop specific strategies to include public audiences with regard to science as an institution, meanwhile the autonomy to allocate reputation with regard to the individual scientist remains for peers only. Because the relevant audiences of the institution and the individual differ, there is a systematic ambivalence towards highly visible scientists. The study therefore shows the stability of the normative structure of science; confirming differentiation theory assumptions for the process of knowledge production.
After the eventReport and video of this seminar will be available soon.