Convenors: Max Albert (Gießen), Guido Bünstorf (Kassel), Martin Carrier (Bielefeld), Rolf König (Bielefeld), Cornelis Menke (Mainz), Niels Taubert (Bielefeld)
Commercial influences on the research done in academia and industry have strongly increased in the past decades. Such influences affect the content or direction of research, the efficiency of the research, and the quality of knowledge produced. Industrial research or application-oriented research more generally give primacy to endeavors that can be expected to produce practically useful results. Critics claim that eagerness to promote short-term utility generates side-effects such as one-sidedness and lack of understanding. In a separate but related development, monetary and non-monetary reward systems have been introduced to enhance the productivity of research. While reward systems can be expected to drive up efficiency, critics object that superficiality and lack of long-term visions will ensue. The question is: what is the impact of monetary reward systems or alternative frameworks such “gift economy” or “open science” on the quality of scientific knowledge?