The Ethos of Science and Its Correlates: An Empirical Analysis of Scientists' Endorsement of Mertonian Norms

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Mertonian norms of science have long been subject to various criticisms, one of which concerns a story book image' of science that those norms portray for science to justify the independence of science from social control. Despite much criticism of Merton's work on the normative structure of science, little research has been undertaken on the degree to which practicing scientists indeed hold onto such norms. This study presents an empirical analysis of Mertonian norms using the survey of 633 Korean scientists. The Korean scientific community offers a strategic research site. With predominantly US-educated researchers, it contains a sizeable membership of academic scientists who have become sensitised to ethical and normative problems due to Dr Hwang's notorious research fraud scandal. Our empirical analysis analyses scientists' endorsement of Mertonian norms based on a framework incorporating demographic factors and the socialisation into science. Among the four Mertonian norms, we find communalism to be strongly influenced by professional conditions such as size of research funding, professional network and involvement of non-academic affairs. This finding confirms the growing concerns with the norm of communal ownership of scientific output in the face of increasing academic commercialisation.
Publisher
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INDIA PVT LTD
Issue Date
2018-03
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY, v.23, no.1, pp.1 - 24

ISSN
0971-7218
DOI
10.1177/0971721817744438
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/240602
Appears in Collection
STP-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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