Science changes in response to economic pressures
To finally talk about something other than basic and applied research (although I’ll shortly return to the topic!), I strongly recommend this interview with historian and philosopher of science Evelyn Fox Keller. It’s a part of the “How to Think About Science” series that I brought to your attention before. I’ve been slowly making my way through the series, and this episode has been by far my favorite.
Starting about the 19-minute mark, she makes some insightful comments on how STS scholarship, and feminist studies in particular, has changed science. Keller believes that research like hers has had virtually no impact. In approximately her words:
Science changes for sure. It changes all the time. But it doesn’t change in response to the kind of critique I was offering. It changes in response to economic pressures; to opportunities. Science is first and foremost a domain of opportunism.
The rest of the episode is equally fascinating. Listen to the whole thing.