A cognitive approach to relevance of science

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The Starnberg finalization thesis offered a cognitive diagnosis of the relevance of science. With the present changes in science and its links with society, this remains important, but needs to be broadened. Relevance occurred and continues to occur locally, and can be taken up in local¿cosmopolitan fields (my broadened definition of scientific fields). Chemistry is discussed as an example. The possibility of intrinsic relevance has been obliterated by the historical process of "purification" of science, including what is now called strategic science. While the pressure for relevance can lead to fragmentation, this is not necessary. A diagnosis of socio-cognitive dynamics must be made. Quality assurance resides in circulation, aggregation and robustness of outcomes.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)615-640
Number of pages26
JournalSocial science information
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • IR-34164
  • METIS-148856

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