Vetenskap och karriär

Sammanfattning: This study concerns the conditions for research. Above allit deals with the professional and institutional situation ofphysicists in Sweden during the first half of the twentiethcentury. The starting point is the altered career opportunitiesfor physicists in industrialised society. Their workingconditions were influenced by the social and economic changesof the time. Moreover, the study focuses upon the links betweencareer paths and institutional environments among the 98physicists who published their doctoral theses in Swedenbetween 1890 and 1929. This means thatthe focus is on accessto resources rather than on the production of knowledge.Relatively little attention is given to the conceptual contentsof theories in physics or the practical execution ofexperiments.The analysis is inspired by the kind of socio-historicalperspective of the history of science which is generallyassociated with the American social scientist Robert K. Merton.Here the concepts of institutionalisation andprofessionalisation are often used to characterise alteredconditions for scientific research. In this study however, ithas been seen as more fruitful to use the concept of careerpath to describe the circumstances of Swedish physicists'professional conditions as lecturers, professors and industrialresearchers during the first half of the twentieth centuryEqually, the concept of institutional environment has beenemployed to study their institutional conditions in secondaryschools, universities, industrial laboratories, and researchinstitutes. The different career paths and institutionalenvironments has then been linked and analysed by the conceptsof research ideals and research resources.

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