Editors’ Introduction: Institutional Conditions for Progress and Renewal in Science

  • Thomas Heinze
  • Richard Münch
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


Innovations in science include not only the generation of new ideas, theories, methods, and instruments, but also the diffusion of novel scientific contributions and their institutionalization as new academic fields. We argue that scientific innovations vis-à-vis organizational renewal is contingent upon at least three institutional conditions: investments in exploration, facilitation of meso-level competition, and interdisciplinary research. Regarding one or more of these conditions, each chapter of this edited volume presents new and thought-provoking evidence that improves both our conceptual knowledge and empirical understanding of how new research fields form, how research organizations adapt to scientific innovations, and how research sponsors support new research domains while simultaneously providing continued support to established lines of disciplinary research.


Scientific innovations Disciplinary diversity Organizational renewal Institutional change History of science Sociology of science National research system 



Several chapters in this volume were presented as papers at the “International Conference on Intellectual and Institutional Innovation in Science,” held at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, September 13–15, 2012. We are very grateful to the conference committee members for reviewing papers; these include (in alphabetical order): Mats Benner, Dietmar Braun, Susan Cozzens, Ronald Doel, James Evans, Jacob Hamblin, Stefan Kuhlmann, Jacques Mairesse, Patrick McCray, Ben Martin, Christine Musselin, Dominique Pestre, Philip Shapira, and Richard Whitley. The conference was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) as part of grant 01UZ1001: special thanks to Dietrich Nelle (Head of Section 42, BMBF) and Monika Wächter (PT–DLR). Regarding the edited volume, we are very grateful for helpful comments and suggestions from two anonymous reviewers, and also many thanks to Steffi Heinecke and David Pithan for editing the book manuscript.


  1. Ben-David, Joseph. 1971. The scientist’s role in society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bornmann, Lutz, and Hans-Dieter Daniel. 2010. The manuscript reviewing process: Empirical research on review requests, review sequences, and decision rules in peer review. Library and Information Science Research 32: 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bourke, Paul, and Linda Butler. 1999. The efficacy of different modes of funding research: Perspectives from Australian data on the biological sciences. Research Policy 28: 489–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Braun, Dietmar. 1998. The role of funding agencies in the cognitive development of science. Research Policy 27: 807–821.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chubin, Daryl E., and Edward J. Hackett. 1990. Peerless science: Peer review and U.S. science policy. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Collins, Harry M., Robert Evans, and Mike Gorman. 2007. Trading zones and interactional expertise. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 38: 657–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crease, Robert. 2010. Physical sciences. In The Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity, ed. Robert Frodeman, Julie Thompson Klein, and Carl Mitcham, 79–102. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Doel, Ronald E. 2003. Constituting the postwar earth sciences: The military’s influence on the environmental sciences in the USA after 1945. Social Studies of Science 33: 635–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Doel, Ronald E., and Kristine C. Harper. 2006. Prometheus unleashed. Science as a diplomatic weapon in the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. Osiris 21: 66–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Foster, Jacob G, Andrey Rzhetsky, and James A. Evans. 2015. Tradition and Innovation in Scientists’ Research Strategies. American Sociological Review 80: 875–908.Google Scholar
  11. Galison, Peter. 1997. Image and logic: A material culture of microphysics. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Gaston, Jerry. 1973. Originality and competition in science. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Grant, Jonathan, and Liz Allen. 1999. Evaluating high risk research: An assessment of the Wellcome Trust’s Sir Henry Wellcome Commemorative Awards for Innovative Research. Research Evaluation 8: 201–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hage, Jerald. 2005. Organizations and innovation: Contributions from organizational sociology and administrative science. In Innovation and institutions: A multidisciplinary review of the study of innovation systems, ed. Steven Casper and Frans van Waarden, 71–112. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  15. Hage, Jerald, and Jonathon Mote. 2008. Transformational organizations and institutional change: The case of the Institut Pasteur and French science. Socio-Economic Review 6: 313–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. 2005. Oceanographers and the Cold War: Disciples of marine science. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  17. Heinze, Thomas. 2008. How to sponsor ground-breaking research: A comparison of funding schemes. Science and Public Policy 35: 302–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Heinze, Thomas, Philip Shapira, Juan D. Rogers, and Jacqueline M. Senker. 2009. Organizational and institutional influences on creativity in scientific research. Research Policy 38: 610–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hemlin, Sven, Carl M. Allwood, and Ben R. Martin. 2004. Creative knowledge environments: The influences on creativity in research and innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hollingsworth, J. Rogers. 2004. Institutionalizing excellence in biomedical research: The case of The Rockefeller University. In Creating a tradition, ed. D.H. Stapleton, 17–63. New York: Rockefeller University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hollingsworth, J. Rogers. 2006. A path-dependent perspective on institutional and organizational factors shaping major scientific discoveries. In Innovation, science, and institutional change, ed. Jerald Hage and Marius Meeus, 423–442. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Hounshell, David A., and John Kenly Smith. 1988. Science and corporate strategy: Du Pont R & D 1902–1980. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Jasanoff, Sheila. 2006. Biotechnology and empire. The global power of seeds and science. Osiris 21: 273–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jones, Benjamin F., Stefan Wuchty, and Brian Uzzi. 2008. Multi-university research teams: Shifting impact, geography, and stratification in science. Science 322: 1259–1262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Klein, Julie Thompson. 2010. A taxonomy of interdisciplinarity. In The Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity, ed. Robert Frodeman, Julie Thompson Klein, and Carl Mitcham, 15–30. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Kohler, Robert E. 1991. Partners in science: Foundations and natural scientists 1900–1945. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  27. Kuhn, Thomas. 2000. The road since structure. In The road since structure: Philosophical essays, 1970–1993, ed. James Conant and John Haugeland, 90–104. Chicago/London: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Lakatos, Imre. 1968/1969. Criticism and the methodology of scientific research programmes. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: New Series 69: 149–186.Google Scholar
  29. Lakatos, Imre. 1978. The methodology of scientific research programmes. In Philosophical papers: Volume 1, ed. John Worrall and Gregory Currie. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Langfeldt, Liv. 2001. The decision-making constraints and processes of grant peer review, and their effects on the review outcome. Social Studies of Science 31: 820–841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Laudel, Grit. 2006. The art of getting funded: How scientists adapt to their funding conditions. Science and Public Policy 33: 489–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Luukkonen, Tertu. 2014. The European Research Council and the European research funding landscape. Science and Public Policy 41: 29–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. March, James G. 1991. Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science 2: 71–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Merton, Robert K., and Elinor G. Barber. 2004. The travels and adventures of serendipity: A study in sociological semantics and the sociology of science. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Merton, Robert K., and Harriet Zuckerman. 1973. Institutionalized patterns of evaluation in science. In The sociology of science: Theoretical and empirical investigations, ed. Robert K. Merton and Harriet Zuckerman, 460–496. Glencoe: Free Press.Google Scholar
  36. Münch, Richard. 2014. Academic capitalism: Universities in the global struggle for excellence. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Musselin, Christine. 2013. How peer review empowers the academic profession and university managers: Changes in relationships between the state, universities and the professoriate. Research Policy 42: 1165–1173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Polanyi, Michael. 1969. Knowing and being. With an introduction by Marjorie Grene. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Popper, Karl R. 2002[1963]. Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Porter, Alan, and Ismael Rafols. 2009. Is science becoming more interdisciplinary? Measuring and mapping six research fields over time. Scientometrics 81: 719–745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Prendergast, Patrick J., Sheena H. Brown, and J.R. Britton. 2008. Research programmes that promote novel, ambitious, unconventional and high-risk research: An analysis. Industry and Higher Education 22: 215–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Servos, John W. 1990. Physical chemistry from Ostwald to Pauling: The making of a science in America. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Shrum, Wesley, Joel Genuth, and Ivan Chompalov. 2007. Structures of scientific collaboration. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  44. van Leeuwen, Thed N., and Henk F. Moed. 2012. Funding decisions, peer review, and scientific excellence in physical sciences, chemistry, and geosciences. Research Evaluation 21: 189–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Whitley, Richard. 2000. The intellectual and social organization of the sciences, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Whitley, Richard. 2007. Changing governance of the public sciences. In The changing governance of the sciences, ed. Richard Whitley and Jochen Gläser, 3–27. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Youtie, Jan, Juan Rogers, Thomas Heinze, Philip Shapira, and Li Tang. 2013. Career-based influences on scientific recognition in the United States and Europe: Longitudinal evidence from curriculum vitae data. Research Policy 42: 1341–1355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zoller, Frank A., Eric Zimmerling, and Roman Boutellier. 2014. Assessing the impact of the funding environment on researchers’ risk aversion: The use of citation statistics. Higher Education 68: 333–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  2. 2.University of BambergBambergGermany

Personalised recommendations