Spontaneous Generations is an open, online, peer-reviewed academic journal published by graduate students at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto. It has produced six issues and is a well-respected journal in the history and philosophy of science and science studies. We invite interested scholars to submit papers for our seventh issue.
We welcome submissions from scholars in all disciplines, including but not limited to HPS, STS, History, Philosophy, Women’s Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. Papers in any period are welcome.
The journal consists of four sections:
A focused discussion section consisting of short peer-reviewed and invited articles devoted to a particular theme. The theme for our seventh issue is “Economic aspects of science” (see a brief description below). Recommended length for submissions: 1000-3000 words. A peer-reviewed section of research papers on various topics in the field of HPS. Recommended length for submissions: 5000-8000 words. A book review section for books published in the last 5 years. Recommended length for submissions: up to 1000 words. An opinions section that may include a commentary on or a response to current concerns, trends, and issues in HPS. Recommended length for submissions: up to 500 words.
Economic Aspects of Science
Nearly every discipline in science studies has considered the economics of science in some fashion. Philosophers have long looked to economics as a resource for understanding science. They have considered how individual scientists might economize time and resources in pursuing a variety of epistemic goals, and have considered how competing scientists might spontaneously organize in ways reminiscent of Adam Smith’s invisible hand. More recently philosophers have begun to consider how science’s changing economic context might be affecting scientific norms. Historians have deconstructed the “linear model” whereby scientific progress leads to technological progress, which in turn drives economic prosperity. They have also considered how science’s changing economic circumstances, from the patronage relations of the Middle Ages, to the government-driven funding of the Cold War, to the recent trend toward commercial funding, have affected its operation. Economists have considered how science might be important for the economy and what that might imply for science policy.
We welcome short papers that explore these and other economic aspects of science, and especially welcome papers looking to make interdisciplinary connections within the economics of science. Case studies that speak to these issues are also welcome. The questions below might help in further guiding potential submissions:
· Do philosophers, sociologists, historians, and economists interested in economic aspects of science have anything useful to say to each other?
· What should science studies learn from the history, philosophy, or practice of economics? For example, should we be applying the results of behavioral economics to our accounts of how scientists operate? Can these lessons be applied to discussions of, for instance, the value of intellectual property as a motivating factor in scientific fields such as genomics?
· Do, must, or should, scientific methods depend on the economic context of scientific research? For example, does the high cost of randomized controlled trials affect the expectation of repeatability in scientific experiments?
· What role does Intellectual Property play in science and how has it changed through science’s history? Is Intellectual Property just a metaphor, or is it a significant component of an economic system of science?
· To the extent that they were ever descriptively accurate, are Mertonian norms under threat? What does this mean for the nature of science?
· Is it illuminating to think about science as an economic enterprise? What do we learn about science in doing so?
· What does it mean to “commodify” scientific research? Is there a qualitative change underway in what scientists produce?
The seventh issue of Spontaneous Generations will appear in September 2013. Submissions for the seventh issue should be sent no later than March 15, 2013. For more details, please visit the journal homepage. Please distribute freely. Apologies for cross-postings.