Institutional problems of the emerging scientific community in Iran

Khosrokhavar, Farhad, Ghaneirad, Mohammad-Amin, & Toloo, Ghasem (2007) Institutional problems of the emerging scientific community in Iran. Science, Technology & Society, 12(2), pp. 171-200.

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This article attempts to explore the concept of scientific community at the macro-national level in the context of Iran. Institutionalisation of science and its professional growth has been constrained by several factors. The article first conceptualises the notion of science community as found in the literature in the context of Iran, and attempts to map through some indicators. The main focus, however, lies in mapping some institutional problems through empirical research. This was undertaken in 2002–04 in order to analyse the structure of the scientific community in Iran in the ‘exact sciences’ (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and earth sciences). The empirical work was done in two complementary perspectives: through a questionnaire and statistical analysis of it, and through semistructured interviews with the researchers.

There are number of problems confronting scientists in Iran. Facilities provided by institutions is one of the major problems of research. Another is the tenuous cooperation among scientists. This is reported by most of the researchers, who deplore the lack of cooperation among their group. Relationships are mostly with the Ph.D. students and only marginally with colleagues.

Our research shows that the more brilliant the scientists, the more frustrated they are from scientific institutions in Iran. Medium-range researchers seem to be much happier about the scientific institution to which they belong than the brighter scholars. The scientific institutions in Iran seem to be built for the needs of the former rather than the latter. These institutions seem not to play a positive role in the case of the best scientists. On the whole, many ingredients of the scientific community, at least at its inception, are present among Iranian scientists: the strong desire for scientific achievement in spite of personal, institutional and economic problems.

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ID Code: 28030
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Iran, Scientific community, Scientific productivity, Normative commitment, Internal communications, Brain drain, ISI publications, Semi-structured interviews
DOI: 10.1177/097172180701200201
ISSN: 0971-7218
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology (160808)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
Deposited On: 15 Oct 2009 22:38
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 03:10

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