Scientific multipolarisation: its impact on international clinical research collaborations and theoretical implications

Rosemann, Achim (2013) Scientific multipolarisation: its impact on international clinical research collaborations and theoretical implications. Science, Technology & Society, 18 (3). pp. 339-359. ISSN 0973-0796

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The article explores the contemporary dynamics of global scientific multipolarisation, and the empirical and theoretical implications of this trend for international clinical research collaborations. The focal point of the article is an ethnographic study of the China Spinal Cord Injury Network (China SCI Net), a transcontinental clinical research infrastructure that is active in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the US. Based on findings from this case study, the author suggests that the transition toward a multipolarising science world is associated with significant changes in the ways international collaborations are initiated, organised and justified. For many years, clinical research collaborations between partners in high- and low-to-middle-income countries have involved geographically bound hierarchies between the sponsors, intellectual creators and facilitating technicians of the research. However, the data from the China SCI Net indicate that these boundaries are in important respects transcending, and that a new modality of international clinical research organisation may gradually be taking shape. Theoretically, this article engages in a reflective dialogue with post-colonial theory, and post-colonial science and technology studies. The author suggests that several of the analytical tools that post-colonial science studies offer remain of great relevancy also in the context of a multipolarising science world. Simultaneously, however, the conceptual, methodological and ideological presumptions embedded in post-colonial theory require careful scrutiny, and other complementary strategies are required to capture the impact of the current multipolarisation process in the sciences more completely.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D History General and Old World
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Q Science
R Medicine
Depositing User: Achim Rosemann
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2015 09:17
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 07:39

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Bionetworking in Asia - International collaboration, exchange, and responsible innovation in the life sciencesG0750ESRC-ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCILES/I018107/1