2007. Nowotny. "How Many Policy Rooms are There? Evidence-Based and Other Kinds of Science Policies"


"In my response to Andrew Webster’s examples I point to certain limitations, while fully supporting the thrust of his argument for a re-engagement of science and technology studies (STS) with policy making. When analyzing the policy implications of knowledge, the larger context must be considered. New criteria, like transparency, have arisen and the tendency for evidencebased policy making has become widespread. The managerial side of policy making emphasizes that “only what can be measured, can be managed.” The crucial question is how well prepared—and how willing—the STS community is to tackle policy making in this new guise. In the end, what is needed are institutions that are capable of developing their own reflexivity—a task to which STS can certainly contribute, but the road to be taken may be less direct than Andrew Webster suggests."

Keywords: policy implications of knowledge; evidence-based policy; science metrics; auditing practices; reflexivity of institutions


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Contributed date

May 23, 2018 - 5:40pm

Critical Commentary

This 2007 comment by Helga Nowotny agrees with Andrew Webster that STS should be more involved (or get reinvolved) in policy making, but suggests that there are bigger complications to be aware of. 



Cite as

Helga Nowotny, "2007. Nowotny. "How Many Policy Rooms are There? Evidence-Based and Other Kinds of Science Policies"", contributed by Maggie Woodruff, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 29 May 2018, accessed 3 December 2023. http://www.stsinfrastructures.org/content/2007-nowotny-how-many-policy-rooms-are-there-evidence-based-and-other-kinds-science-policies