Ethos of Science and the Marketized Mentality of Academics in Contemporary Poland

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:00
Oral Presentation
Jacek BIELINSKI, Collegium Civitas, Poland, National Information Processing Institute, Poland
Aldona TOMCZYŃSKA, National Information Processing Institute, Poland
In this paper we response to the Panofsky's (2010: 141) appeal for sociologists to return to the topics of the ethos and autonomy of science. The domination of other institutional fields over science may have both positive and negative effects for advancement of certified knowledge (see Merton 1938; Storer 1973: xix). Science dominated by some other social institution may encourage deviant or non-conformist behaviour (Zuckerman 1977; Steh 1978: 175). The result is some form of incompatibility between the scientific ethos and the normative structure of dominating social institution: “the source of deviance lie outside of the ethos itself, in the wider social environment” (Sztompka 1986: 57).

In recent decades we have observed the increase of neoliberal attitude to knowledge creation. It is based mainly on the expectancy that effective allocation of resources leads to more efficient knowledge production. Thus, the economic norms are values supersede those of traditional ethos of science, i.e. economy dominates over science (see Messner and Rosenfeld, 2001). The case of Poland is of special interest because over last 27 years this country has undergone a significant economic and political transformation that in many ways covered the scientific governance.

The goal of this paper is to examine how the ethos of science changes under the conditions of excessive pressure from the economy and market values by investigating the relationship between the ethos of science and the marketized mentality (Hövermann et al. 2015a; Hövermann et al. 2015b; Hövermann et al. 2016) in contemporary polish academic community.

The empirical basis for statistical analysis is a survey conducted from December 2015 to January 2016 on a representative sample of academics in Poland. The sample size was N=801. The results show negative correlation of marketized mentality with ethos of academic science and positive correlation with industrial science ethos.