Towards European Science

Towards European Science

Dynamics and Policy of an Evolving European Research Space

Edited by Linda Wedlin and Maria Nedeva

Since the concept of the European Research Area was launched at the beginning of this century, significant effort has been made to realise the vision of a coherent space for science and research in Europe. But what is such a space, and how is it developing? This timely book analyses the dynamics of change in policy and governance of science and research within Europe over the past decade. It widens the scope of traditional policy analysis by focusing attention on the interaction between policy rationales, new governance mechanisms, and the organisational dynamics of the scientific field. The contributors build a novel analytical framework to understand the European research space as one shifting from a fragmented space of ‘science in Europe’ to one that is labelled ‘European Science’, and the chapters explore dynamics of this shift through the lenses of political science, organisation theory, science policy and related analytical traditions.

Chapter 1: Towards European science: an introduction

Linda Wedlin and Maria Nedeva

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, innovation and technology, organisational innovation, politics and public policy, european politics and policy


Over the past seven years, the European Union has had to deal with the worst financial and economic crisis since the last century. We have managed to overcome the existential threat to the Euro area and we have developed our Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, with a strong focus on science, research and innovation. The European Union remains the largest knowledge factory in the world: it accounts for almost a third of global science and technology production. And despite the crisis, Europe and its Member States have managed to maintain this competitive knowledge position. . . . I am a firm believer that science, engineering and technology are vital for the health of our society, economy and environment. We must look to the future, to anticipate and prepare for new developments rather than react to them. (EC 2014; STAC report: 1)