Earlier this month, we talked about the perception that US science funding is harder to secure than it used to be. There are several tensions at play — evolutionary increments vs revolutionary leaps, the boldness of youth vs the established old guardÂ — or at least that is how the discussion was framed. I wonder though if there is another subtext: what is science?
De facto, science is whateverÂ we spend our science dollars on. Therefore, we want to make sure that funding covers the complete range of scientific activities. Only, there still seems to be a lot of discussion about how to define science. There is a desireÂ to differentiate science from other academic pursuits like theology or philosophy, and to distinguish science from magical thinking. Just in the past week, I’ve come across two very different attempts to draw the boundaries of science.
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