Public value mapping of science outcomes: theory and method

Abstract:

The Public Value Mapping Project of the Center for Science, Policy, & Outcomes seeks to develop conceptual tools and measures enabling a better understanding of the impacts of scientific research on desired social outcomes. This monograph summarizes progress in developing theory and method for assessing the public values aspects of science outcomes. The critical problem for understanding the social impacts of science is that we have no satisfactory tools for understanding how these largest-scale social impacts occur and, by implication, few useful guideposts for “managing” their occurrence. A maintained assumption in our study is that traditional R&D evaluation and planning are inappropriate for analysis of public Big Science and its social impacts, and the reason is simple: In national science policies seeking grand scale social impacts, science is only one of the players and not always the most important one. Any approach that focuses on scientific inputs and outputs and resources developed and expended by scientists but fails to focus on other important actors will result in an incomplete or misleading inferences about social outcomes and their causality. Science is not a self-contained institution and very few if any of the major social transformations occur because of science. Social outcomes and transformations do not occur because of scientific change but because of the social apparatus for marshaling scientific change.

Full Paper 

Bozeman, B. (2003). Public value mapping of science outcomes: theory and method. Knowledge flows and knowledge collectives: Understanding the role of science and technology policies in development2, 3-48.