When Policy Meets Practice

28th Sep 2009

15:30 - 17:00

Seminar Room 1.06 Old Surgeons' Hall, High School Yards

Concerns surrounding the difficulties of translating scientific knowledge into practice have led policy makers and practitioners, alike, to emphasize the importance of moving towards more interactive and engaged forms of knowledge production. This has generated a growing number of policy and research funding initiatives aimed at establishing so-called ‘Mode 2’ research that spans disciplines and engages end users in order to ensure relevance and applicability of scientific knowledge in practice. Genetics science is no exception, and the UK Genetics Knowledge Parks (GKPs) represents one such initiative – an initiative that largely ‘failed’ to deliver expected results. Drawing from institutional theory and a longitudinal study of the GKPs, we frame such initiatives as reflecting an attempted shift towards an alternative institutional logic surrounding the production of scientific knowledge that competes with more established ‘Mode 1’ forms of scientific research and governance. We use this approach to explore and explain the tensions and interplays that occurred between these competing institutional logics and their consequences in terms of what the GKPs themselves were ultimately able to achieve.