Tohtori (postdoc) Pulkkinen Karoliina

159500 €

Tracking the role of values in Soviet science

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

The ideal that science should be free from moral and political values has been immensely influential throughout the 20th century. However, recent philosophical scholarship has effectively debunked it as a desirable ideal for science. It has been suggested that the ideal derived much of its force in the Western world from the political anxieties associated with the Cold War. Meanwhile, the discussion of the role of values in science in the Soviet Union have almost exclusively focussed on the ideologically driven suppression of research. To date, subtler avenues of value influence in science in the Soviet Union have been overlooked. The proposed manuscript addresses this gap by analysing the role of values in Soviet science beyond ideological suppression of research. Such a study on values is needed, because the majority of the philosophical accounts recommend making value-judgments guiding research transparent and democratic. However, these recommendations cannot necessarily be satisfied by scientists working in nondemocratic settings. Yet, a considerable amount of high-quality research is done in such contexts. To identify other ways of legitimising value-judgments in science, the proposed manuscript investigates how scientists navigated politicians’ attempts to control science and succeeded at making high-quality research in an ideologically saturated environment. Such an investigation gives us new tools for distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate influence of values. It also helps to test our existing normative accounts on the proper relationship between political institutions and scientific research. In developing a new normative framework for values in science, this manuscript integrates history and philosophy of science, without forgetting a thorough reflection on the tensions and complementarity of the two approaches.