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Scientific cultures in conflict and transition: studying reform in action 
Bart Penders (RWTH Aachen and Maastricht University)
Alex Rushforth (Leiden University)
Nicole Nelson (University of Wisconsin Madison)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

We invite (case study) submissions on one or more scientific reform movements; communities advocating a specific view on the right way to conduct scientific inquiry, often framed as improving declining standards of quality or propriety around knowledge production, communication, and evaluation.

Long Abstract:

Scientific reformers and reform movements have historically allowed STS to observe scientific norms and cultures in conflict or transition. A rich tradition of scholarship has focused on science activism, while arguments between key actors (e.g. Hobbes and Boyle) over the right way to conduct scientific inquiry have become exemplary in STS.

The past decade has seen the rapid rise of high-profile reformers and reform movements. Established movements such as Evidence-Based Medicine and Open Source Software have been joined by intersecting movements for open science, research integrity, metascience, responsible research and innovation, green labs, research assessment reform, and responsible metrics. Some reform leaders developed career trajectories grounded in their roles as reform advocates rather than their subject expertises. These highly normative projects are often framed as arresting or improving declining standards of quality or propriety around academic knowledge production, communication, and/or evaluation.

This open panel invites single or comparative case study submissions on one or more of these ‘upstream’ science reform movements. We especially welcome contributions inspired by research on social movements, scientific/intellectual movements (SIMs), (e)valuation studies, social epistemology, governance, and institutions.

Submissions addressing one or more of these science reform movements may wish to consider:

- How has movement formation or role transition occurred? How have movement(s) or reformer(s) sought to generate awareness and credibility for their cause?

- How effective have they been in transforming the priorities, instruments and rationales of research policy and research practices at local, regional, or (trans)national levels?

- What is the importance of research management professionals, philanthropic trusts, and commercial interests in supporting these upstream movements?

- Are the abovementioned roles and reform movements new social forms within science, or mere continuation of science’s long and varied propensity to engage in collective action and methodological improvement?

Accepted papers: