Master thesis topic: The changing role of research in society

12 maart, 2018

Are you interested in writing your thesis about questions related to the changing roles of and relations between science and society? Write your thesis about this topic under DRIFT’s supervision!

Problems and challenges in science and research seem to abound – starting from claims about ‘alternative’ facts, a publication culture with the need to publish high numbers of articles preferably in selected journals, the focus of universities on research at the expense of education or the need for societal relevance and co-creation.

The latter hints towards the increasing intertwinement between society and science, which some consider as deeply problematic since it infringes on academic freedom, personal integrity and the objectivity of research results; others welcome the developments towards more citizen science, transdisciplinary research or action research as a democratization of knowledge production and the only way to address pressing societal challenges. Still others acknowledge the fact that research should be societally relevant but separate the process of knowledge production from its societal impact.

What is considered problematic in current science and research differs and so do the proposed ways forward. While some developments are high on political agendas such as open science and responsible research and innovation, others are translated into manifestos such as the Slow Science Manifesto or the Transformative Social Innovation Manifesto. More and more of these developments are formalized: Think of the Science shop movement, the DESIS network (design for social innovation and sustainability), the European Citizen Science Association, the Fab Foundation, Action Research Plus or Science in Transition.

These developments deserve and need further research. Are you interested to write your thesis about questions related to the changing roles of and relations between science and society on any of the developments above (or additional ones), please get in touch!

Do you want to know more about this opportunity? Please contact Dr. Julia Wittmayer

About DRIFT’s Thesis Supervision
Transition Academy offers Master students from various disciplines and universities the opportunity to write their theses on transition and/or sustainability related themes under supervision of one of our researchers. The following terms will apply for master thesis supervision

  • We provide thesis supervision on condition that the DRIFT supervisor is formally acknowledged as a (second) supervisor.
  • Knowledge sharing. We ask the graduating student t0 (1) write a blog on their thesis to publish on the DRIFT/TAC websites; and (2) present their research during one of DRIFTs weekly knowledge sessions and/or to people involved with a potential casestudy
  • when applicable: involvement of DRIFT supervisor as a co-author in the event of a scientific publication based on the thesis.

Read more about writing your master thesis under DRIFT supervision.