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Revealing research prioritizati on against societal "needs" by means of semantic analysis

AuthorsRafols, Ismael ; Wallace, Matthew L.; Turckheim, Elisabeth de
Issue Date2016
Citation4S/EASST Conference (2016)
AbstractAlthough it is often argued that research priorities are not we ll al igned with societal needs (Sarewitz and Pielke, 2007), he actual distribution of resources across competing research topics is often unclear or contested. In this presentation, we will introduce methods to quantitatively estimate the relati ve investment across competing research options, explore mechanisms that may shape investmties with societal needs. First, in the case of obesity, we analyse question records in the EU parliaments as an instance of social demand (as "captured" by decision makers). We use topic modelling to recon struct thematic structures in both parliamentary data and publications. We compare them with publication maps to explore (mis)alignments between societal concerns and scientific outputs. We find that research is more concerned about the biomedical mechanisms leading to obesity, whereas political questions focus on the socio-economic mechanisms that cause obesity. Second, we analyse priorities in avian flu with project and publication data. We investigate how priorities are shaped by three institutional contexts: (i) pharmaceutical industry, (ii) publishing and public research funding pressures, and (iii) the mandates of international and national science-based policy or public health organizations. These results are significant not only for informing resource allocation, but also to take a broad perspective of research governance that explicitly takes into account underlying incentive structures when defining priorities.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado a la Conferencia de la Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) y la European Association for Science and Technology Studies (EASST), celebrada en Barcelona (España) del 31 de agosto al 3 de septiembre de 2016 con el lema: "Science & technology by other means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures".
Appears in Collections:(INGENIO) Comunicaciones congresos
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