On the Commodification of Science: The Programmatic Dimension
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- de Oliveira, M.B. Sci & Educ (2013) 22: 2463. doi:10.1007/s11191-012-9455-7
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The article is a partial result of a wider research project, in which the commodification of science is interpreted, from one point of view, as a facet of the rise of neoliberalism, and from another, as a set of processes, classified according to a three-category taxonomy. Only one of the taxonomy’s categories is dealt with in this article, the one that concerns the processes that affect the programme of scientific research. First a sketch is presented of the historical background and the periodization of the most relevant epoch for the study of the commodification of science, namely, the one from the end of World War II to the present. The periodization is expressed in the notions of Golden Years science and neoliberal science. The ensuing sections have the aims: to show that, in Golden Years science, the processes shaping research programmes did not include commodification; to characterize the period of transition of the 70 s; to describe the processes of commodification that have impact on the research programmes of neoliberal science; to discuss criticisms that have been levelled against them, as well as proposals for better ways of conducting scientific practices, and their implications for science education (which are of the same nature as that of Science & Education’s editorial line); and finally, to bring to light the differences between developed and emerging countries as far as the commodification of science is concerned.