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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Open Science: the Very Idea


  • Describes recent developments in science from a historical, sociological, philosophical perspective and a personal view

  • Provides a realistic narrative from personal experiences in science and the challenges of producing reliable knowledge

  • For researchers, stakeholders and anyone interested in the history, philosophy and the current practice of science

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Images of Science: A Reality Check

    • Frank Miedema
    Pages 15-65
  3. Science in Social Contexts

    • Frank Miedema
    Pages 129-157
  4. Science in Transition Reduced to Practice

    • Frank Miedema
    Pages 159-178
  5. Transition to Open Science

    • Frank Miedema
    Pages 179-210
  6. Epilogue: Open Science in an Open Society

    • Frank Miedema
    Pages 211-218
  7. Back Matter

    Pages 219-247

About this book

This open access book provides a broad context for the understanding of current problems of science and of the different movements aiming to improve the societal impact of science and research. 

The author offers insights with regard to ideas, old and new, about science, and their historical origins in philosophy and sociology of science, which is of interest to a broad readership. The book shows that scientifically grounded knowledge is required and helpful in understanding intellectual and political positions in various discussions on the grand challenges of our time and how science makes impact on society. The book reveals why interventions that look good or even obvious, are often met with resistance and are hard to realize in practice. 

Based on a thorough analysis, as well as personal experiences in aids research, university administration and as a science observer, the author provides - while being totally open regarding science's limitations- a realistic narrative about how research is conducted, and how reliable ‘objective’ knowledge is produced. His idea of science, which draws heavily on American pragmatism, fits in with the global Open Science movement. It is argued that Open Science is a truly and historically unique movement in that it translates the analysis of the problems of science into major institutional actions of system change in order to improve academic culture and the impact of science, engaging all actors in the field of science and academia.


  • open access and society
  • science and society
  • science in transition to open access
  • science in social contexts
  • transition to open science
  • ideologies and myths about science
  • open access

Authors and Affiliations

  • UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    Frank Miedema

About the author

Frank Miedema, PhD, is professor of Open Science, is Vice Rector for Research and chair of the Utrecht University Open Science Program. He studied biochemistry in Groningen specialising in Immunology, with a minor in the Philosophy of Science  and in 1985 obtained a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. After a career in biomedical (HIV/AIDS) research in Amsterdam, from 1985 to 2004 as Director of the Research Division of Sanquin and professor in the immunology of HIV/AIDS at AMC, he moved to UMC Utrecht where from January 2009 to March 2019 he was dean and vice chairman of the Executive Board at the University Medical Center Utrecht.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Open Science: the Very Idea

  • Authors: Frank Miedema

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Dordrecht

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-94-024-2114-9Published: 22 October 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-94-024-2117-0Published: 30 October 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-94-024-2115-6Published: 29 October 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIII, 247

  • Number of Illustrations: 4 b/w illustrations, 21 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Philosophy of Science, Science and Technology Studies

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)