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Influence of Cultural Context on Formation of Science Policy (French Experience)



The article examines the science policy as an element of national public policy. The author gives the definition of the term “science policy” and analyzes all the stages of formation of science policy in France. Based on the concept of the Neal, Smith and McCormick, based on the fact that the development of science policy is related to the beginning of the space era and the launch of the first satellite by USSR, the author analyzes in detail the formation of science policy in France after WW II. A special role in this formation played the activity of Pierre Mend?s-France, and Charles de Gaulle in the 1950s. The author also investigates the background of the French science policy and begins with the analysis of the establishment in the 16th century of the Coll?ge de France. The author attempts to identify the national specifics of research activities in France and its impact on the actual science policy. The existence of axiological pluralism in science suggests that scientific communities in different countries are influenced by their national cultures, which consist of different sets of values. To make a structure of the model for research culture in France, the author uses the description model of national cultures composed by D. Oyzerman for describing culture as a set of three interrelated sets of factors. The first group includes religious and philosophical beliefs, historical context and linguistic tradition. The second involves social institutions associated with the legal and economic systems of society, as well as education and upbringing. The third one is internalized by the individual part of the culture, which includes cultural norms and values. Guided by the proposed model, the author examines the scientific culture in France in terms of three dimensions: linguo-cultural, institutional, and axiological. This approach allows to cover fully all the most important factors affecting the national peculiarities of French research school, and demonstrate inconsistency of the positivist interpretation of scientific knowledge as based on universality and supra-national nature.


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