Zotero Library: Democratizing Research and Medicine


The advent of advanced digital technologies is a feature of our global landscape that could facilitate the democratic distribution of scientific exploration, production, and consumption in ways that were once thought to be impossible. However, the universal human right to participate in science, knowledge production, and knowledge application, has been largely sidelined: we typically think or believe that only institutional entities possess the unique intellectual capacities and practical resources that are required to produce epistemic and technological goods. However, buying into this notion–the notion that the means of the production of knowledge is held by an intellectually “elite” few is–firstly, just theoretically flawed–and secondly, in practice, it serves to disproportionately place decision making power and access into the hands of those entities who are more likely to prioritize their own social or economic comfort (which is honestly most people in a hard capitalist society), and therefore are more likely to use their accrual of “knowledge credits” to invest first in their own growth, rather than their cooperative engagement with others and novel propositional ideas. This ultimately undermines the entire scientific enterprise in the sense that the system just perpetuates the inequities and harms that “science” and “technology” are supposed to mitigate. We’re all part of this problem–

(whether we’re the ones fearing we’re not ‘worthy’ of ‘doing science’, or whether we’re the ones agnostically and uncritically consuming whatever knowledge is produced, or whether we’re the ones doing science and thinking that this qualifies us as intellectually unique/superior);

–therefore, we’re all part of minimizing the senseless inequity and harm here.

So what can we structurally alter (at all levels spanning the “individual psychological” to the “sociopolitical” in order to bring about functional change?)



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