Which science, which democracy, and which freedom?

Hans Radder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter focuses on more specific aspects and provides examples of actual or desirable connections between science, democracy, and freedom. The relation between science and democracy is addressed with the help of a brief discussion of the democratic substance of the conception and implementation of the Dutch National Research Agenda. The modern democratic state should be a constitutional democracy. What are the implications of the preceding account of democracy and freedom for science? Basic science provides epistemic and technical resources that are optimally multipurpose and open ended. Many recent studies have focused on the role of values in science. Quite a few people employ and advocate the concept of “liberal democracy”. Therefore, terms like “illiberal democracy” or “democracy without rights” constitute contradictions in terms. Therefore, if ordinary citizens also have a say in what may benefit society (which is reasonable enough), their judgments will legally constrain the institutional freedom of science in choosing its research agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience, Freedom, Democracy
EditorsPéter Hartl, Adam Tamas Tuboly
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780367823436
ISBN (Print)9780367418175
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

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