Collegium Helveticum
Fellow Project 2022–2023

Rethinking Science in Times of Open Science?

The possibility to make research and data readily available to everyone around the globe who has access to an internet connection is commonly seen as an enormous opportunity to speed up scientific discoveries. At the same time, certain problematic dynamics and trends in science are exacerbated under the guise of open science. On the one hand, the increasing use of digital tools in research further strengthens the position of commercial actors who offer most of the digital services used in science, raising concerns about large-scale influence and the corporate capture of science. On the other hand, the massive push for openness from science policymakers feeds concerns about an instrumentalization of science and undue state influence. This begs the question: is open science a “constitutional moment” or a threat to the autonomy and integrity of science?

Through the perspective of systems theory, this project analyzed the developments in science in close connection to open science. Are we witnessing a creeping dedifferentiation of the science system? And what is the role of the law in countering these trends?