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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31862

Title: Constructing Quality in Academic Science: How Basic Scientists Respond to Canadian Market-Oriented Science Policy – A Bourdieusian Approach
Authors: McGuire, Wendy Lynn
Advisor: McDonough, Peggy
Department: Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Keywords: Bourdieu
knowledge production
Mode 2
sociology of knowledge
academic quality
science policy
university-industry collaboration
knowledge translation
Issue Date: 10-Jan-2012
Abstract: Canadian science policy has increasingly linked the value of academic knowledge to its contribution to economic competitiveness. A market vision of scientific quality is embedded in new funding criteria which encourage academic scientists to collaborate with industry, generate intellectual property, and found companies. While the “Mode 2” thesis advanced by Gibbons and Nowotny asserts that quality criteria in science are changing to incorporate economic relevance, there is little empirical evidence to either refute or substantiate this claim. Using Bourdieu’s theory of practice, this study explores the responses of basic health scientists to market-oriented funding criteria. The goal of the study was to understand how scientists, occupying different positions of power in the scientific field, defined “good science” and pursued scientific prestige. Twenty semi-structured interviews were carried out with 11 scientists trained before and 9 trained after the rise of market-oriented science policy. Data derived from Curriculum Vitae and Background Information Forms were used to estimate the type and volume of capital each participant held. Scientific capital, as reflected in peer-reviewed publications and grants, was perceived as the dominant form of recognition of scientific quality. However, “entrepreneurial capital”, as reflected in patents, licenses, industry funding and company spin-offs, functioned as a new form of power in accessing resources. Study participants adopted different positions in a symbolic struggle over competing visions of “good science” and used different strategies to acquire scientific prestige. Some pursued a traditional strategy of accumulation of scientific capital, while others sought to accumulate and convert entrepreneurial capital into scientific capital. Findings suggest that there is no longer a single symbolic order in the scientific field, but that the field is stratified according to a scientific and market logic. Hence, support is provided for both continuity with “Mode 1” and change towards “Mode 2” evaluation of academic quality.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31862
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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