Advocating a radical change in policies and
new models to secure freedom and
efficiency in funding and communication
Andrea Ballabeni and Davide Danovi
A moving landscape
Threats and obstructions to scientificfreedom, fairness and efficiency are
commonly perceived as surrounding the scientific world. However, bottlenecks
can also occur from within the system itself as some of the current regulations
and forces shaping research (referred to here as ‘science policies’) substantially
decrease the freedom and motivation of scientists. Indeed
on civil liberties (on the relationship between democracy and scientificfreedom, see Chapter 13 in this
Strengthening international instruments and mechanisms to affirm the
right to science, and to free up the use of narcotics and other psychoactive
substances in respectable scientific laboratories, could thus contribute both
to science and to the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule
Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (1979), Report on a Review of the
Classification of Controlled Drugs and of Penalties under Schedules
the arrest and execution of scientists opposed to Trofim Lysenko,
who fraudulently claimed to have perfected a way of increasing
crop yields and transmitting acquired characteristics to later generations.88 Supporters of scientificfreedom argued that the collapse of
Soviet genetics and agriculture proved just how harmful external
interference was for science.
Support for club regulation was strengthened further during the
1950s, thanks to advances in biological and medical research such
as the development of effective anti-tuberculosis drugs, open-heart
alchemists, particularly the Chinese alchemists in the fourth and third
century bc). In some sense, it may be argued that much, if not all, scientific
effort is ultimately meant to prolong human life, the life of the planet, to
give humans and perhaps other living beings the best chance to live as well
as possible for the longest time, hopefully forever. Many of those who
defend scientificfreedom do so in the name of human welfare, longevity
and freedom from illness and disability (see Chapter 15 in this volume).
The longing for immortality is obviously the other face of
–1914’, Journal of Contemporary History , 20:4 (1985), 503–20.
36 D. L. Brick, J. Brick, and J. W. Richardson, ‘Fining the doctor’, BMJ , 2:4902, S.233 (1954), 241.
37 Though perhaps one explanation for the divergence between practice and responses lay in the connections between voluntary institutions and autonomy in the professional imagination: S. Hastings, ‘Scientificfreedom and social medicine’, BMJ , 1:4290 (1943), 392–3.
38 ‘Administration of special departments’, BMJ , 2:4784, S.2486 (1952
democracy was to safeguard scholarly and
scientificfreedom. After a few years, however, interest in the forum
cooled significantly, and in 1949 the discussions in Marburg took
place for the last time.11 Under British guidance, a commission was
set up which mainly consisted of reform-minded German academics.
They visited most universities in the three western zones, and in
1948 they presented a comprehensive reform proposal, the so-called
‘Gutachten zur Hochschulreform’ (literally ‘experts’ report concerning
the reform of higher education’). In the ‘Blaues Gutachten
lofty as those once championed
by the German university, argued Habermas.108
Hochschule in der Demokratie discussed the university’s organisation and place in society, along with democracy and scholarly-scientificfreedom, the university’s ideology, and the situation of the students.
A concluding excursus was devoted to ‘Women and the university’,
as though this were a marginal topic. The authors’ relationship to
the German university tradition became particularly obvious in an
introductory historical chapter and in the third part of the book.
Like the text from 1961