The Atlas of Research on Research: tracing how ideas, priorities and practices move

Helen Woods, University of Sheffield; James Wilsdon, University of Sheffield, Research on Research Institute (RoRI); Sarah de Rijcke, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS); Ludo Waltman, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS); Thomas Franssen, Centre for Science & Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University; Ismael Rafols, Centre for Science & Technology Studies (CWTS), Leiden University; Vincent Traag, Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)

virPrague 20: Big Data, Information Sciences, Technosphere

Worldwide, interest is intensifying in how research is governed, and in how research systems can be made more open, inclusive and impactful. But diverse forms of research on research are obviously nothing new. Rich seams of theoretical and empirical work from STS, innovation studies, and other disciplines inform these debates. More recently, heightened concern over the quality and reproducibility of research have prompted newer waves of work across the biomedical and behavioral sciences – often driven by researchers trying to address problems in their own fields. Alongside these efforts, terms such as meta-research and meta-science have emerged, often attached to high-profile new centers and networks. This can raise eyebrows among more established communities as the product either of ignorance of earlier work, or of a rebadging aimed at securing territory, funding and influence.

STS has made it their business to critically analyse the role of expectations and claims to novelty in science, technology and society. So in 2020, what is research on research? Who is doing it and where, and how do its many forms relate to STS? This interactive exhibit attempts to open up and explore these dynamics, relationships and tensions.