Think Tank Network Initiative – The Blog

Think Tanks and think tank based experts have gained important roles both in policy networks and in the public at large. It is not always clear if a particular think tank is rooted in the academic world, or must be considered close to a political party, an advocacy or commercial organization. Nor can it be taken for granted that the output of a think tank is subject to quality control. Frequently it is also difficult to determine who paid for a particular piece of expertise no matter where the author(s) are based. At the same time the large quantity of think tanks and the easy distribution of expertise from their quarters raise many questions with regard to the relations between science and society. Scholars of science history have so far tackled the changing interplay of researchers and practical men and women due to commercialization and multiplication of organizations involved in knowledge production mainly in the field of natural sciences or engineering. Social scientific think tank research is presently not well prepared to systematically capture and assess the transformation of policy related research and consulting let alone explaining the think tank phenomenon at large. The Think Tank Network Initiative has been founded to close this gap. To this end a wiki database has been developed together with a visualization instrument, individual research tools and the blog, which we start with this article.

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