Publications

"The Rise of the Dedicated Natural Science Think Tank"

Mirowski, Philip

While most of work on think tanks takes if for granted that their mandate would encompass the social sciences as part of their political orientation, it has been much less common to focus on the growth of think tanks dedicated to the natural sciences. This has been unfortunate, because it is one thing to generate policy-relevant knowledge to bolster your side in the political arena, it is quite another to have the ambition to change the very nature of knowledge production about both the natural and social worlds. Analysts need to take neoliberal theorists like Hayek at their word when they state that the Market is the superior information processor par excellence. The theoretical impetus behind the rise of the natural science think tanks is the belief that science progresses when everyone can buy the type of science they like, dispensing with whatever the academic disciplines say is mainstream or discredited science.

Published: Social Science Research Council, July 2008

Citation: Mirowski, Philip, "The Rise of the Dedicated Natural Science Think Tank" (New York: Social Science Research Council, July 2008).