The production and reception of scientific papers in the academic-industrial complex: the clinical evaluation of a new medicine

Abraham, John (1995) The production and reception of scientific papers in the academic-industrial complex: the clinical evaluation of a new medicine. British Journal of Sociology, 46 (2). pp. 167-190. ISSN 0007-1315

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Abstract

The production and reception of scientific papers in the academic-industrial complex have been neglected in sociology. In this article the social processes which influence the nature of the scientific paper in that complex are explored in depth by taking a number of controversial medical papers as case studies. The empirical evidence is collected and discussed in the light of sociological theories of normative ethos, paradigm development, reward-induced conformity and social interests in science. It is concluded that within the medical-industrial complex conformity to industrial interests can be a major criterion in defining the kind of reception given to a scientific paper and the professional autonomy of the authors in the paper's production, rather than an ethos of scientific scepticism or commitment to paradigmatic conventions. This is seen to have implications for the production of scientific knowledge - implications that might be in conflict with the public interest. Consequently, the desirability of current British Government proposals to intensify its policy of making science more responsive to the needs of industry may have significant drawbacks, hitherto unacknowledged in official circles, and in need of more extensive sociological investigation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: John Abraham
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:46
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2012 14:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/18267
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