top of page
test tubes.jpg


Science in the public interest: its theory and its practice

Professor Emeritus Hans Radder (Department of Philosophy, VU Amsterdam)

The presentation consists of three parts. First, I summarize my conception of a public interest and explain how it may be used to analyse and evaluate specific aspects of science and technology. In the second part, I briefly examine the possible public interest of open-access publishing (OAP). OAP has been promoted by many as a crucial value of a more democratic science. What is lacking, however, is a critical reflection on the different application contexts of this value, especially for the social and human sciences. The third part of the paper reviews the recent development and content of the Dutch National Research Agenda (DNRA, or Nederlandse Wetenschapsagenda). The question is: does the DNRA satisfy the criteria for being of public interest? My conclusion from this analysis is twofold. Negatively, we have to conclude that calling the DNRA a case of citizen science (or citizen science policy) is already questionable, but it is certainly not a successful example of democratizing science. Positively, this way of analysing this attempt at democratizing science in detail makes explicit the relevant issues that have to be taken into account and entails concrete ways of where and how possible future attempts should and could be improved.

When: Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 3:30-4:30 PM (ACST)

Where: Online. Please RSVP to

Professor Emeritus Hans Radder is a researcher in the Department of Philosophy at VU Amsterdam. Major themes in Hans' teaching and research are: scientific observation and experimentation, the historical, epistemological and ontological meaning of concepts, scientific realism, metaphilosophical issues related to historical and sociological approaches to science and technology, the social and moral significance of science and technology, the commodification of science, and the alternative of science in the public interest and for the common good.

bottom of page