Handbook on Science and Public Policy
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Handbook on Science and Public Policy

Edited by Dagmar Simon, Stefan Kuhlmann, Julia Stamm and Weert Canzler

This Handbook assembles state-of-the-art insights into the co-evolutionary and precarious relations between science and public policy. Beyond this, it also offers a fresh outlook on emerging challenges for science (including technology and innovation) in changing societies, and related policy requirements, as well as the challenges for public policy in view of science-driven economic, societal, and cultural changes. In short, this book deals with science as a policy-triggered project as well as public policy as a science-driven venture.
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Chapter 25: Why science and innovation policy needs Science and Technology Studies?

Robin Williams

Abstract

This chapter explores the institutional divergence between two fields today described as Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Innovation Studies (IS), rooted in their differing orientations towards modernity and to external audiences. IS scholars adopted positivistic epistemologies and pursued large-scale and often quantitative research methods to generate a robust evidence base for generalisable policy lessons for promoting innovation. STS scholars adopted qualitative (e.g. ethnographic and historical) methods to highlight the diverse voices of those involved in/affected by the modernist project. These differing political commitments and intellectual missions shaped their approaches to policy intervention: for example, National Systems of Innovation theory (IS) and Responsible Research and Innovation (STS). The recent renewal of the IS research agenda by revisiting its roots in historical and contextual explanation of the factors shaping innovation processes, highlights the scope for productive engagement between these two traditions. However, no simple (re)convergence is likely given their contrasting epistemic stances.

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