Deliberation and aggregation in the scientific communication

Ilya T. Kasavin
RAS Insti­tute of Phi­los­o­phy
Nation­al Research Lobachevsky State Uni­ver­si­ty of Nizh­ni Nov­gorod

Delib­er­a­tion and aggre­ga­tion in the sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Abstract. The arti­cle rep­re­sents a crit­i­cal com­ment on the talk giv­en by Vitaly Pron­skikh at the Lobachevsky Uni­ver­si­ty of Nizh­ni Nov­gorod. His descrip­tion and analy­sis of pro­to-mega­science draw­ing on the his­tor­i­cal case-study of Fer­mi­lab (USA) in the last third of the 20th cen­tu­ry comes to some inter­est­ing con­clu­sions. They require rethink­ing the pic­ture of mega­sci­en­tif­ic projects as a part of mar­ket econ­o­my and neolib­er­al ide­ol­o­gy. More­over, Pron­skikh focus­es on the struc­ture of sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tion, which reveals its key role in defin­ing the pecu­liar­i­ty of the projects in ques­tion. The crit­i­cism of his posi­tion aims at spec­i­fy­ing the com­mu­nica­tive acts in the core of the inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tion group. The col­lec­tive epis­te­mol­o­gy, for instance, views sci­en­tif­ic delib­er­a­tion among spe­cial­ists of high degree as aggre­ga­tion that allows retain­ing one’s the­o­ret­i­cal posi­tion with­out group­think atti­tude. More­over, the struc­ture of col­lab­o­ra­tion nor­mal­ly inte­grates polit­i­cal inter­ests and the con­flict of expert sta­tus­es to that extent that they acquire the pri­mar­i­ly sig­nif­i­cance and give the research inter­ests mere­ly the sec­ondary role. Mega-sci­en­tif­ic projects seem to trans­form into soci-otech­ni­cal ensem­bles (Wiebe Bijk­er), where no strict bound­ary can be drawn between the tech­ni­cal, the sci­en­tif­ic and the social.

Key­words: mega­science, inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tion, trad­ing zones, polit­i­cal inter­ests, col­lec­tive agent, delib­er­a­tion, aggre­ga­tion, social roles and sta­tus­es, core and periph­ery, sociotech­ni­cal ensem­bles

DOI: 10.5840/dspl20192220


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