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Handbook on Science and Public Policy

Dagmar Simon, Stefan Kuhlmann, Julia Stamm and Weert Canzler

Edward Elgard Publishing

Table of contents


This Handbook assembles state-of-the-art insights into the co-evolutionary and precarious relations between science and public policy. Beyond this, it also offers a fresh outlook on emerging challenges for science (including technology and innovation) in changing societies, and related policy requirements, as well as the challenges for public policy in view of science-driven economic, societal, and cultural changes. In short, this book deals with science as a policy-triggered project as well as public policy as a science-driven venture. 


Book presentation

Science and public policy go hand in hand, yet their relationship is fraught with tension. Society demands innovation through new research and technology, as well as ensuring that scientific progress is socially acceptable and sustainable. This Handbook examines the fluctuating relationship between public policy and science, and in particular the impact, both nationally, and internationally of these changes on research.

Examining the interlinked models of science and social policy, this Handbook addresses a number of overarching questions: What are the consequences of changing science policies for science and science systems? How far do these consequences go? Do they tackle the fundamental principles of science, its norms, standards, and reputation systems? And what impact does this have on modern science and technology? With contributions from leading scholars in the field, the Handbook on Science and Public Policy provides answers from a broad scope of theoretical and conceptual perspectives.

This is a much-needed reference for students of public policy and politics, as well as for scholars with an interest in science policy in particular. The wide range of insights will also be of interest to analysts of science policy.




‘Without any doubt, the relation between scientific practices and public policies has changed considerably over the past quarter of a century. Internationalization has increased, in the form of both co-operation and competition. Innovation has become a policy keyword for assessing scientific outcome, while scholars themselves have observed changes in knowledge production. New indicators for assessing scientific quality and impact have proliferated, and they are increasingly used as policy tools. Rich in both substance and diversity, this volume makes a big step towards providing a much-needed comprehensive assessment of a wide range of interrelated changes in the relation between science and public policy.’


– Peter Wagner, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain


‘This Handbook offers a comprehensive analysis of the complex and fluid relationships between science, society and science policy. A combination of theoretical, empirical, comparative and transnational contributions by a multidisciplinary group of acknowledged scholars offers novel perspectives on forms of collaborative knowledge production and ways of renegotiating the contract between science, society and public policy. At a time of rising anti-science rhetoric, this volume offers a valuable counterweight, which should be widely read by academics and policy practitioners alike.'


– Sigrid Quack, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany


‘This Handbook offers an interesting look at the evolving state-of-the-art research on science, public policy and society. A number of internationally leading scholars provide valuable empirical observations together with inspiring theoretical considerations regarding changes in societal, normative and epistemic foundations, in the configuration of actors, framings and governance arrangements, as well as an outlook on research challenges and opportunities. This is a highly recommended read for academics as well as for reflective practitioners.’



– Daniel Barben, University of Klagenfurt, Austria


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