Why science and innovation policy needs Science and Technology Studies?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

In the 50 years since the first specialist research centres were established to study science and innovation policy and practice, differing orientations towards modernity and to external academic and non-academic audiences have encouraged an institutional divergence between two fields today often described as Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Innovation Studies (IS). This paper explores the reasons for, and consequence of this divergence in this “research field of shared interest” (Martin et al. 2012: 1182). IS, in its efforts to generate a robust evidence base from which they could draw generalisable policy lessons for promoting innovation, has adopted positivistic epistemologies and pursued large-scale and often quantitative research methods. STS, in its concern to critically interrogate the modernist project, has highlighted the diversity of voices and values of those involved in and affected by technoscientific change. This has favoured the qualitative (e.g. ethnographic and historical) methods of interpretivist research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Science and Public Policy
EditorsDagmar Simon, Stefan Kuhlmann, Julia Stamm, Weert Canzler
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781784715946
ISBN (Print)9781784715939
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Research on Public Policy series
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • science and technology studies
  • epistemic stance
  • innovation studies
  • national systems of innovation
  • responsible research and innovation


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