Mellan nation och omvärld : debatt i Sverige om vetenskapens organisering och finansiering samt dess internationella och nationella aspekter under 1900-talets första hälft

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)


Between the nation and the surrounding world
- Debate in Sweden regarding the organisation and financing of research and its international and national aspects during the first half of the twentieth century

My thesis regards the attitude of the Swedish research society to research as a national and an international phenomenon during the period 1900-1950. My work relates to the question in which way the landscape of the research policy of the surrounding world has influenced Swedish research during this period. Primarily it deals with a change between German and American influences.
The aim is to give a contribution to the understanding of the national and international character of research. The thesis consists of three parts; Part 1 deals with the international landscape of organisation and co-operation in research. Such phenomenon as the German “Mandarins”, when the Nazis seized power of in Germany, the progressive ideal of research, “Bernalism” and the consequences for science in Europe and United States through the financial support from Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Foundation is discussed. A picture of the fundamental feature concerning the relationship between research, economy and politics in Europe and United States is given. In order to relate the international picture to the Swedish conditions, I discuss the debate regarding to the societal role of research within the Swedish research society, there I show the span between the national and international aspects concerning Swedish research.
The national motive was strong and a legitimizing element for the actors of research, both when they articulated their needs in political discourses and in the national debate. They argued that the destiny of the nation was dependent of that research had a leading role in the society. Most of the problems in society could be soluted with scientific methods. The discussion of the freedom of research and it’s societal use was in great respect influenced of contemporary international currents, even though the national perspectives and priorities were the most important.
Part 2 deals with five studies, the boundary organisation The Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences (Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien), the professional organisation The Swedish Society of Medicine (Svenska Läkaresällskapet) and the research councils, Medical Research Council (Medicinska forskningsrådet), The Research Council of Social Sciences (Samhällsvetenskapliga forskningsrådet) and The Humanistic Fund (Humanistiska fonden). In these studies I focus on the international relations of the scientific organisations.
Part 3 will show the results in a summary discussion. I argue that the view of the Swedish research society on international scientific cooperation is connected with the national needs and motifs. International and national motives are no way contrary to each other – if no nations, then no internationalism. From the point of view of the scientific organisations, there are no evidences that Swedish researchers and scientific-political actors were so unambiguous dependent of German science and science politics. Instead there was a complex mosaic of international relations, which were concerning several nations, and Germany was one among many, even if it was an important one. United States, Great Britain and the Nordic countries were other important nations to have a scientific exchange with, and in some cases more important than Germany.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Kulturstudier


Tilldelande institution
Handledare/Biträdande handledare
Tilldelningsdatum2010 okt 15
  • Division of History of Ideas and Sciences
Tryckta ISBN978-91-979095-0-1
StatusPublished - 2010