Open science: human emancipation or bureaucratic serfdom?


Since the Italian research evaluation system is based on an administrative agency that is in control of all the facets of academic life, it would be easy to add an OS mandate to the researchers’ duties. But, if we conceive OS as a philosophical ideal of human emancipation through the opening of scholarly conversation rather than a management model, we have to ask: why does open science, today, need to be mandated? But, above all, can it be mandated? A Kantian thought experiment will help us to show that: (1) OS needs to be mandated because, against the spirit of the modern science revolution, it is not open any longer; (2) the very submission of research to blueprints dictated by an administrative authority reduces it to a bureaucratic, commodified enterprise whose horizon is not the advancement of learning - or discoveries and revolutions yet to do - but the production of information and data whose goal is determined by economic and political powers rather than by the will to knowledge.


open science; open access; research management; research assessment; academic freedom; Kant

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