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June 14th, 2007
The structure and practice of science are under rapid change. The landscape and conduct of science are in a state of flux.
At least three factors are responsible for the changing landscape and practice of science. The first is the demand for more democratic oversight of science. Today, there is growing demand and agitation for public participation and more transparency in science policy-making. It is no longer the preserve of ‘academic' scientists and technocrats to make decisions pertaining to the focus or mission, practice, funding and evaluation of science programmes.
There are now civil society organisations dedicated to monitoring and influencing decisions in fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology; a branch of technology dealing with manufacture of tiny objects. They are acquiring more space on the landscape of science. Some of them articulate strong anti-science sentiments and policies. They make sure that large-scale experiments are destroyed or fail to take off.
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