Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Discussion summary (2/21/2014, Fri)

Discussion summary (2/21/2014, Fri)

-          Questions in summary! Do it!
-          This semester is about changing world. It is useful to ground what we are doing, where we are living.
-          Mode-2 theory has high citation number – measure of people’s interest.
-          What kinds of rhetoric are they using?
-          Read the article attached to the email, send in this morning. (About D to P and K to A)
-          Merton’s ethos of science is about Mode-1 science. (Communism, Universalism, Disinterestedness, and Organized Skepticism) Whether these norms are descriptive or normative is repeating issue in Mode-2 discussion as well.

Gibbons et al (1994)
-          Notion of Mode2 first appeared – how is it differ from Mode-1
-          Mode-1 is traditional disciplinary structure. Mode-2 is supplementary, not supplanting.
-          Parallel growth of production and supply of knowledge production.
-          Bomb thrower and bomb cleaner: Mode-2 theory looks like bomb thrower without clear empirical evidence. For instance, it is too much positive. Every rhetoric looks like good words. Moreover, is this necessary concept?
-          Is this normative suggestion about future of knowledge production, or descriptive argument on current changes?
-          Daniel: Bomb thrower is interesting term. In that context, Hessels and Lente reviewed the big and ungrounded concepts. Naming of the concept is part of scholarly works, because unnamed theory will not be cited.

Gibbons and Nowotny interview (2001)
-          Major point is not clear, because the format is interview
-          Transgressiveness of knowledge: Matter of how to frame the Mode-2
-          Contextualized nature of Mode-2: Context is important in Mode-2. Importance of multiple stakeholders. Context of society matters. Relationship between society and science. Reflexive relationship between society and science.
-          So, Mode-2 theory accepts not only the society is changing, but also the relationship between society and science is changing.
-          Metaphor of Agora – evokes the image of Mode-2
-          Lack of detailed description about transdisciplinarity.

Nowotny, Scott, and Gibbons (2001)
-          About university’s role in Mode-2 production
-          University has taken charge of two conflicting roles: 1) reproduction of a cultivated elites, and 2) development as a scientific institution. (social and scientific role)
-          Tension between these two roles is not new; however in Mode-2 regime, these two roles are not zero-sum game, but a compatible.
-          Knowledgeable people from the outside of university are actors of knowledge production in Mode-2, so that “de-institutionalization” will take place.
-          Future university will need to be more of a synergetic institution. (adaptable and resilient)
-          Boundary between teaching role/research role and inside/outside of university will not vital anymore

Hadorn et al (2008) – Transdisciplinary research
-          Four characteristics of transdisciplinary research: 1) Focus on life world problems, 2) transcend and integrate disciplinary paradigm, 3) participatory research, and 4) search for unity of knowledge.
-          Stakeholder involvement from the earliest moment
-          Why transdisciplinarity? 1) Complexity of problem? 2) aims for “common good” (what is common good, by the way?) 3) network of transformation knowledge, target knowledge, and system knowledge?
-          Both internal and external factors perpetuate the transdisciplinary program.

Hessels and Lente (2008) – review
-          Analyze and criticize the doctrine, Mode-2. How much is it valid? – lack of empirical evidence
-          Comparison of Mode-2 theory of seven other similar theories. How these eight theories agree or disagree among each other? Agree: 1) research agenda is more and more about the application, 2) interactions between science and other social values are increasing.
-          Not necessarily to determine which theory is the truth, but to show the strength and week of each theories.
-          Criticism on Mode-2: 1) The elements of Mode-2 do not necessarily appear at once. Several factors are vivid in some cases, whereas the other factors are not relevant. 2) Historically, Mode-2 is old story

End of summary, time for discussion

Robustness of science? Context dependency of science? (Cole) – Accountability and quality control of Mode-2 implies the more need of social accountability (Haley) – Example of Steven Epstein’s Impure Science: If there are many layers of accountability, do we also have to think about systematic ways to guarantee it? (Daniel) – So, it is about who is expert and who is public. Many layers of accountability are also about the variety of public. Many different social groups and their different interest and accountability should be considered too (June)

Mode-1 is too narrowly defined (almost artificially) to construct the term Mode-2 (June) – If we say Mode-2 is taking place, how do we measure it? For instance, how do we measure the heterogeneity, transdisciplinarity, and reflexivity? Can we really separate different components of Mode-2 with clear standard of evaluation? (Daniel)

Mode-2 makes the university less relevant? (Haley) – Read the book, “The last Intellectuals”. There used to be intellectuals who influence the public at the outside of university at the early 20th century. Nowadays, with stronger higher education system, scholars are writing only for each other. How do we interpret this phenomenon? Are we at the pivotal point? Are we just trying to solidify/defend the boundary? (Daniel) – Interview with blog editor for general public (Cole) – Is it anti-university of anti-intellectual? For instance, do we have system in university to award professors who work in Mode-2 way? (Daniel)

Does transdisciplinary mean the cooperation of who disciplines? (Cole) – According to Gibbons, transdisciplinary cannot be reduced to disciplines. In other words, transdisciplinary research includes irreducible synergetic effect among the disciplines. Or, the notion of discipline itself could be not important at all in transdisciplinary research. (June) – The relationship between the transdisciplinary research and discipline is like cake and flour, sugar. (Sigrid – WOW!!) – Then, how interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary different? (Daniel) – Well….. transdisciplinarity has an aspect of interdisciplinary as well (Haley) – Gibbon et al p. 5 is about it (Heather) – Both transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary need the concept of discipline at the beginning, isn’t it? (Daniel) – Then, Mode-2 is no more than extended form of Mode-1. (Sunny) – Probably we need Mode-1.5 between the Mode-1 and Mode-2. (again, the issue of evaluation)

About Hadorn’s article – What is common good? – NIH’s standard sampling method for ‘common good’ (Matt) – Very pragmatic and opportunistic term (Daniel) – Existence of multiple stakeholders is crucial here. All different stakeholders have different perspective and interest. How the “common good” exist for all of them? Moreover, power among the stakeholders is asymmetric as well (Sigrid) – Again, in line with who are experts and who are public (June) – Think about how Wisconsin Idea has been used in different ways historically. D to P is business related idea; however the origin of Wisconsin Idea is for state of Wisconsin, the public. In other words, university served the public good in past with broad sense, however chasing economic ways of doing it nowadays. (academic capitalism – topic for next week) The value of Mode-2 is not to describe that world is changing from Mode-1 to Mode-2 in linear way, but to ask the question to the concepts suggested in Mode-2.

Three suggested research programs at the end of Hessels and Lente’s article – how can we do them? Any idea? 1) Do transdisciplinary research activities constitute a substantial part of contemporary science systems? (By studying the flow of money in university) 2) Are university scientists in general increasingly reflexive? (Participatory research? Survey?) 3) Do new criteria currently count significantly in all types of scientific quality control, projects or organizations?

1 comment:

June Jeon said...

I have very interesting tip to memorize Merton's four ethos of scientific activity - CUDOS (similar to typo of Kudos) Communism Universalism Disinterestedness Organized Skepticism :-)