“The vast majority of scientists want their research to be of use to society. They just disagree on how much society should interfere with what it is they study, and how they carry out their research,” says Glerup, who is working on a PhD project on scientific sociology at the Copenhagen Business School. Her research has shown that there are two different ideologies when it comes to research and public utility in the scientific community:
- An ideology of internal control – the researchers know how the world works, so they are in a good position to find out how it should be. Therefore, they are ideally placed to judge about the public utility of their research.
- An ideology of external control – social actors, such as politicians and organisations, know what is best for society, and this makes them ideally placed to determine what research should be done and how.