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Basic and Applied Research: The Language of Science Policy in the Twentieth Century

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Volume 4

European Conceptual History

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Basic and Applied Research

The Language of Science Policy in the Twentieth Century

Edited by David Kaldewey and Désirée Schauz

Full Text PDF | Full Text ePUB Made available under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license with support from the University of Bonn.

312 pages, 6 figures, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-810-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2018)

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Overall, this edited collection represents a greatly enriching contribution to conceptual history that raises questions of methodology and concepts and analyses these successfully from various national perspectives.” • History of Science, Technology & Medicine

“The great merit of the editors’ pluralist approach is that they allow a range of distinguished international contributors free rein to discuss the topics in depth for the United States, Germany, and Britain, with invaluable comparative discussion of Hungary and China too…a rich and intriguing Collection.” • Isis

“This is an important and timely contribution to the conceptual history of science in the twentieth century, with a laudably thorough discussion of methodological and conceptual concerns.” • Julian Bauer, European University Association

“Concepts reflect ideologies and policies as much as they shape them, bridging the gap between expectations and reality. This transnational probe into the "basic/applied" rhetoric of science policy discourse is a unique and overdue analysis that will contribute to our understanding of past and present relations among science, innovation and the political contexts in which they develop.” • Peter Weingart, Bielefeld University


The distinction between basic and applied research was central to twentieth-century science and policymaking, and if this framework has been contested in recent years, it nonetheless remains ubiquitous in both scientific and public discourse. Employing a transnational, diachronic perspective informed by historical semantics, this volume traces the conceptual history of the basic–applied distinction from the nineteenth century to today, taking stock of European developments alongside comparative case studies from the United States and China. It shows how an older dichotomy of pure and applied science was reconceived in response to rapid scientific progress and then further transformed by the geopolitical circumstances of the postwar era.

David Kaldewey is professor for science studies and science policy at the University of Bonn. He holds a doctorate in sociology from Bielefeld University. He has published widely on the changing relationship of science and politics, particularly on transformations in the identity work of scientists and policy makers.

Désirée Schauz is a senior researcher at the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Before, she was a Dilthey Fellow at the Technical University of Munich, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. She holds a PhD in modern history from the University of Cologne. She has published widely on the role of concepts in science policy.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Sociology
Area: Europe

Basic and Applied Research Edited by David Kaldewey and Désirée Schauz is available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) with support from the University of Bonn.

Full Text PDF | Full Text ePUB

OA ISBN: 978-1-78533-811-3


List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Why Do Concepts Matter in Science Policy?
Désirée Schauz and David Kaldewey


Chapter 1. Categorizing Science in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century Britain
Robert Bud

Chapter 2. Professional Devotion, National Needs, Fascist Claims, and Democratic Virtues: The Language of Science Policy in Germany
Désirée Schauz and Gregor Lax

Chapter 3. Transforming Pure Science into Basic Research: The Language of Science Policy in the United States
David Kaldewey and Désirée Schauz


Chapter 4. Fundamental Research and New Scientific Arrangements for the Development of Britain’s Colonies after 1940
Sabine Clarke

Chapter 5. Basic Research in the Max Planck Society: Science Policy in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1945–1970
Carola Sachse

Chapter 6. Beyond the Basic/Applied Distinction?: The Scientific-Technological Revolution in the German Democratic Republic, 1945–1989
Manuel Schramm

Chapter 7. Applied Science in Stalin’s Time: Hungary, 1945–1953
György Péteri

Chapter 8. Theory Attached to Practice: Chinese Debates over Basic Research from Thought Remolding to the Bomb, 1949–1966
Zuoyue Wang


Chapter 9. The Language of Science Policy in the Twenty-First Century: What Comes after Basic and Applied Research?
Tim Flink and David Kaldewey


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