Dramatic and controversial changes in the funding of science over the past two decades, towards its increasing commercialization, have stimulated a huge literature trying to set out an ecomics of science . Whether broadly in favour or against these changes, the vast majority of these frameworks employ ahistorical analyses that cant conceptualise, let alone address, the questions of why have these changes occurred? and why w? Nor, therefore, can they offer much insight into the crucial question of future trends. Given the growing importance of science and invation in an age of both a globalizing kwledge-based ecomy (itself in crisis) and ermous challenges that demand scientific and techlogical responses, these are significant gaps in our understanding of important contemporary social processes. This book argues that the fundamental underlying problem in all cases is the ontological shallowness of these theories, which can only be remedied by attention to ontological presuppositions. Conversely, a critical realist approach affords the integration of a realist political ecomy into the analysis of the ecomics of science that does afford explicit attention to these crucial questions; a 'cultural political ecomy of research and invation' (CPERI). Accordingly, the book sets out an introduction to the existing literature on the ecomics of science together with vel discussion of the field from a critical realist perspective. In arguing thus across levels of abstraction, however, the book also explores how concerted engagement with substantive social enquiry and theoretical debate develops and strengthens critical realism as a philosophical project, rather than simply 'applying' it. Divided into two volumes, in this first volume the book explores the 'top' and 'tail' of the argument, regarding substantive and philosophical aspects. Starting with substantive illustrations, we explore the social challenges associated with the contemporary commercialization of science and the movement towards a kwledge-based bio-ecomy. Having shown the explanatory benefits of assuming a realist political ecomy perspective, the book then turns to the task of reconstructing and justifying that theoretical perspective. True to the overall argument regarding attention to ontological presuppositions, this starts with critical realism's critique of mainstream ecomics but also develops critical realism itself towards what may be called a 'transcendental constructivism'.
David Tyfield is a lecturer at the Centre for Mobilities Research and Sociology Department, Lancaster University. He is reviews editor of Science as Culture and formerly an editor of the Journal of Critical Realism.
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Date of Publication
Science & Mathematics: Textbooks & Study Guides
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
13 black & white illustrations, 3 black & white tables, 13 black & white line drawings