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Configuring New Research Fields: How Policy, Place, and Organization Are Made to Matter

Authors: Martina Merz, Philippe Sormani,

Publish Date: 2016
Volume: , Issue:, Pages: 1-22
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Contemporary science is typically conceived as an international endeavor. Especially the natural and technical sciences are seen as internationally constituted with their adoption of English as a lingua franca as well as widespread cooperation and mobility of researchers across national borders and continents. Such an international perspective on science, however, should not neglect that the configuration of individual research fields may vary considerably between locations, regions, and national contexts. Variation is particularly noticeable in the case of research fields in their nascent and early stages such as current nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and the neurosciences. It is this locally specific character of new research fields and how they come into being that this chapter and the present volume move into the spotlight.Most of the contributions to this volume were first presented at an international workshop, entitled The Local Configuration of New Research Fields: On Regional and National Diversity, which was held at the Department of Sociology, University of Lucerne, Switzerland, from June 14 to 16, 2012. We would like to thank all workshop participants and subsequent contributors to the volume for their respective contributions, as well as their patience regarding the editorial process. The initial workshop was financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Research Committee of the University of Lucerne, and the Swiss Association for the Studies of Science, Technology, and Society (STS-CH). Acknowledgments are thus also due to these institutions.



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