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Stefan Böschen

Since the notion of knowledge society has entered the scene, science policy issues have been undergoing a continuous and, at present, fundamental change. That is why the borderland between science and society is being rearranged, with modes of scientific knowledge production diffusing into society and science policy getting more diverse, complex, and far-reaching in its impact on science. I suggest interpreting these “borderland settings” as epistemic regimes. An epistemic regime can be defined as a discursively constructed and institutionally stabilized space of practices for articulating, debating, and solving societal problems, thereby constituting epistemic quality standards and legitimate ways of performing epistemic authority. Thereby, science policy can be seen as both supporting, offering, and selecting knowledge offers and a politics of stabilizing epistemic boundary conditions of societal problem solving while tailoring epistemic quality and securing epistemic authority. Epistemic regimes can be differentiated regarding their order (first versus second order).