Universiteit Leiden

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Future directions for Science and Evaluation studies

Thursday 12 March 2020
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

How does evaluation shape knowledge creation?

What are the most promising perspectives, questions and publics for Science & Evaluation Studies? Join us on March 12 in Leiden and find out! The FluidKnowledge project team at CWTS cordially invites you to the Symposium 'How does evaluation shape knowledge creation? Future directions for Science and Evaluation studies.'

Speaker line-up

  • Peter Dahler-Larsen, Department of Political Sciences, University of Copenhagen
  • Rebecca Elliot, Department of Sociology, London School of Economics
  • Maximilian Fochler, Department of Science & Technology Studies, University of Vienna
  • Noortje Marres, Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick
  • Willem Schinkel, Department of Public Administration & Sociology, Erasmus University
  • Niki Vermeulen, Science Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh


Evaluations have become a permanent element of the workings of present-day universities. And there are many different reasons for this. One is very simple: universities and other knowledge institutions are part of a wider culture that is being flooded with rankings and ratings. Since the advent of the internet, this has only increased. We count, measure and rank till we drop: from the restaurants we visit and the hotels we book, to the quality of the educational institutions where we send our children. But how exactly does evaluation affect science and scholarship?

The intricate ways in which evaluation, valuation and knowledge production interact are poorly understood and undertheorized. Broadly speaking, the new field of Science and Evaluation Studies sets out to analyse the conditions for conducting research, in relation to developments in the content of the research. And this involves three central questions: 1) How do we evaluate science and scholarship? What kinds of ideas about research quality, the societal relevance of research, good governance, the importance of certain forms of collaboration, and careers can be seen in formal evaluation systems and informal evaluation criteria? 2) How do evaluations interact with science itself? How do evaluations interact with scientific research and the many different policy and funding instruments that make use of evaluations? And 3) Is this really how we want to evaluate science?

We have asked six international experts to give input talks in connection with one or more of the following questions:

What are the most promising questions for social scientific research on interactions between evaluation, knowledge creation, and science-society relations? What is at stake, and for whom? How can different disciplines and methodologies (e.g. scientometrics, ethnography) interact with each other most productively? And how to conceptualize and operationalize collaborations with field experts (e.g. ocean scientists, policy makers, wider publics)?

** Please register if you would like to attend this event **

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