Ethos of science and the approach to promotion in science

Marzena Feldy

2018 Marketing Instytucji Naukowych i Badawczych, T. 28, z. 2, s. 67-98

What counts the most in the world of science is the quality of research work. A scientist whose work is scientifically perfect can gain recognition and become an authority in his field. To achieve full success a researcher has to take efficient measures in the area of personal marketing. The goal of this activity is creating and maintaining the desired attitudes and/or behaviours towards a scientist and building a positive own scientific image. However, a scientist engaging in self-promotion may attract the odium of the academic community. That’s why what determines activity in this area is how a researcher perceives the significance of activities from the field of personal marketing for achieving success in science. The approach to this subject may differ according to the system of values and norms regarded as binding for the people of science. The goal of the article is investigating the differences in the perception of activities from the area of personal marketing occurring among scientists identifying themselves with different scientific ethoses.

In order to achieve the adopted goal two research scales were used to divide the investigated community of scientists into four groups. Three out of these four groups followed either academic, industrial, or post-academic ethos of science and members of the fourth group didn’t identify themselves with any of the mentioned systems of values. In groups defined this way the perception of the significance of three potential success factors in science was investigated: popularization of research results, recognisability in the scientific community and recognisability outside the scientific community. The analyses were carried out on the basis of data obtained from 800 scientists who participated in the nation-wide survey conducted by means of the CAPI method by National Information Processing Institute at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.

According to the scientists who took part in the survey, it is necessary to pay most attention to the popularization of research results and the least attention to activities giving recognisability outside the scientific community. Researchers who follow the post-academic ethos of science, which is based on the values of both academic and industrial science, attach comparably high importance to all three analysed aspects of self-promotion. At the other end of the spectrum there are scientists identifying themselves with Merton’s ethos of academic science. They regard the significance of building recognisability in the non-scientific community as particularly low. At the same time the representatives of Ziman’s values of industrial science, as intuition suggests, less than other groups appreciate the will to achieve recognisability in the scientific community. Thus, we can risk the statement that scientists appreciating the ethos of post-academic science display the highest marketing awareness and the representatives of the ethos of academic science display the lowest marketing awareness.