Implicated in the Indicator Game? An Experimental Debate

Autoren:Fochler, Maximilian; De Rijcke, Sarah (Leiden University)
Abstrakt:The rise of new modes evaluating academic work has substantially changed institutions andcultures of knowledge production. This has been reflected and criticized in the literature in STSand beyond. For STS scholars, these debates (should) however have an even more specificdimension. Many of us are experts on aspects of these changes. But at the same time, we too arepart of the processes we are analyzing, and often criticizing. To put it slightly provocatively,often we cannot avoid playing the very same game that we scrutinize. This creates tensions thatmany of us reflect on, and it certainly has created many implicit and explicit normative stanceson how to deal with them. Yet it seems that so far there has been little room in our field to reflecton and exchange this particular kind of experience-based knowledge. There are many differentways to engage with the dynamics of evaluation, measurement and competition in contemporaryacademia, or to play what we refer to colloquially here as the “indicator game.” With this debate,we would like to give room to the expression and discussion of some of these ways. This text isthe introduction and prompt to an experimental debate. We discuss the state of the academicdiscussion on the impact of indicator-based evaluation on academic organization, epistemic workand identities. We use insights from these debates to raise questions for how STS and STSersthemselves deal with the indicator game. In conclusion, we summarize our contributors’arguments and propose the concept of “evaluative inquiry” as a new way of representing thequality of STS work in evaluative contexts.
Journaltitel:Engaging Science, Technology, and Society
Peer reviewed:true
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