by Venni V. Krishna
FMSH Working Papers Series FMSH-WP-2013-54
Social history of modern science, particularly the way it acquired social legitimacy clearly depicts the science and society relationships emerging from the time of Galileo. The social institution of science has evolved as one of the most powerful, highly influential and sought out institutions. Knowledge as public good; peer review of science; prominence attached to open publications; and premium placed on professional recognition and scientific autonomy remained the hall mark of science for the last three centuries. Based on this ethos of science, the social institution of science evolved a unique social contract between science and society in the last six decades. As we enter the second decade of 21st century, the social institution of science is undergoing a major change. Three societal forces are responsible for the change: a) globalization; b) industrial and post-industrial society; and c) climate change. What is at stake? Is there a significant change? Is it transforming the very social institution of Science? And what implications this has for our contemporary and future society? These are some of the important issues, which will be addressed in this essay, which has inspired the lecture given during the awarding of the Charles and Monique Morazé Prize 2013 to the international journal Science, Technology and Society published by Sage India.
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