Pragmatic Apparatus – If you do not deign to quantify, someone else will do it for you: In support of a balanced approach to the evaluation of science

Cited by Lee Sonogan

The basket of metrics for the evaluation of science (Haustein, 2015). |  Download Scientific Diagram

Abstract by Mathieu Lizotte

This is a commentary in support of Olof Hallonsten’s historical-sociological argument for countering the growing distrust and governance of science. From this starting point, the problem of quantification in the evaluation of science is addressed and several examples of the unintended consequences of the currently available metrics are discussed. In particular, the issue of quantification is discussed in regard to the modality of scientific research, power and research and the peer relationship. Although in approval with Hallonsten’s argument for reversing the burden of proof, reasonable skepticism is expressed regarding the persuasiveness that this counter-rhetoric will have on members of parliament, public servants and university administrators. If this long-term goal is to be accomplished, it is argued that concrete actions must be pursued in the short and medium term. In this spirit, several suggestions are formulated to further this agenda, most notably greater support for intellectual diversity, greater participation and readership in science studies by science practitioners and the promotion of the comparative approach for understanding the different ways that metrics are actually used in practice. Finally, I argue that the refusal of participating in the quantification of science is bound to hinder applied critical thinking and will most likely and regrettably exacerbate its current perverse effects.

Publication: Social Science Information (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: Jun 22, 2021 Doi:

Keywords: evaluation of science, governance, intellectual diversity, quantification, unintended consequences (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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