chapter  12
23 Pages

An evaluation system of the science and international orientation of social scientists: The case of Slovenia


In recent times, the internationalisation of science has been becoming evermore important. It conveys a variety of interpretations and applications, from a minimalist and more instrumental view such as securing external funding for the international exchange of scientists, to a view of internationalisation as being a complex, all-encompassing process, permeating the whole professional life and academic culture of scientists. Isolated and parochial scientific communities can no longer be considered a suitable environment for scientific excellence. In fact, thiswas never the case in the history of science. Different forms of co-operation between scientists have long been an important element in the internationalisation of science. Notwithstanding, in the words of John Ziman, through the new forms of globalised connections of science ‘the traditional cosmopolitan individualism of science is rapidly being transformed in what might be described as transnational collectivism’ (Ziman 1994, 218). Science is now moving beyond national borders and is hence becoming international. The internationalisation of science is a multidimensional phenomenon. It is

simultaneously shaped by local, national and transnational factors. However, it seems that independent cross-border contacts initiated and pursued by individual researchers still appear to be the most important driving force behind it. Nonetheless, in recent times the (increase or decrease of) international co-operation among scientists has also been enhanced by organised research and development (R&D) policy mechanisms. Within the whole family of sciences, the relative role of the social sciences might be quite limited in a short-term perspective but quite fundamental on the long-term horizon, at least in the European Union (EU). These sciences investigate the social structure or character of different societies as well as socio-economic patterns and implications of agencies acting within or across state or cultural boundaries. Based on both their reflexive knowledge and their value foundations they tend to bridge many paradigmatic and cultural misunderstandings. According to the European Commission, the social sciences and humanities within the European Research Area (ERA) should provide for ‘the European understanding of civilisation’ (Report EC 2008, 52).