Science as a Political Agent

Science as a Political Agent

Kasavin I.T.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Correspondent Fellow of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Department of Philosophy, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod; Leading Researcher, Department Head, Institute of Philosophy of RAS, Nizhni Novgorod, Russia

ID of the Article:

The research is performed within the grant of Russian Science Foundation, No. 19-18-00494 “The Mission of a Scientist in the Modern World: Science as a Profession and a Vocation”.

For citation:

Kasavin I.T. Science as a Political Agent. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 7. P. 3-14


The answer to the question of science as a political agent intends to show how philosophy of science and technology intersects with political philosophy, and science and technology studies (STS) intervene into the public discourse agenda on the nature of modernity and post-modernity, the prospects of civilization, the role of scientific and technological development, the growing influence of the media. The main feature of modernity is that science and technology define points of growth in all areas of public life. However, the question arises: does this make science a political agent? Were there any such precedents at all? And what is political agency in terms of science? Is there a place for political agency in the mission of the scientist? The analysis of the problem begins with the clarification of its meaning: either we mean political power or the power of knowledge? Further, the forms of implementation of this agency in theoretical and practical activity of scientists are traced. Thus, the article proposes a general theoretical solution to this problem as well as its illustration in scientists’ participation by the resolution of socially significant problems.

Francis Bacon; scientific method; social institute of science; legitimization of science; post-truth; political agency of science


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Content No 7, 2020