Reasoning for Scientific Independence (working title)

David Hopf

Though similar to the idea of scientific freedom, we can motivate a distinct concept of scientific independence: While scientists may want to claim freedom from governmental or societal control as their privilege, independence might be demanded from science in the light of external influences, conflicts of interest, and biased results. But can we clearly distinguish these meanings? Considering the role of non-epistemic values in science, which influences do we count as problematic? What could be grounds for a call to scientific independence, and how far could it carry us? And how would this concept relate to other terms in philosophy of science, like objectivity or epistemic trust? Trying to answer these questions will include both a conceptual analysis of the relevant terms as well as a discussion of recent findings and historical case studies.