‘The window of opportunity is closing’—advocating urgency and unity

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Science and science policy are characterised by expectations. These expectations-as in the field of biomedicine-may be related to describing novel findings, their use in curing diseases or their economic benefits. Previous research has shown that expectations are often communicated with the help of metaphors. In this article, we take a closer look at one metaphor-'closing window of opportunity'-and examine how it frames discussions about policy and regulatory change in biomedicine through the lenses of urgency and national unity. A key component of the generative metaphor of a 'closing window' is the focus on limited time and a sense of urgency related to the creation of an enabling environment for biomedical research and innovations. We focus on two key elements of this framing: international competitiveness and national unity. Moreover, drawing on urgency seems to be a standard response to the changing environment, in which the actors need to continuously guide their actions in new directions, meeting new demands posed by, for example, technological development or regulatory changes. We argue that while the metaphor of a closing window creates room for innovations and competitiveness, it is prone to silence critical discussions, for example on sustainability, responsibility and accountability. This leaves out important discussions about values, benefits and risks. With this analysis, we contribute to discussions about the sociology of (negative) expectations and generative metaphors and show how urgency can remain as a constant state of things.

LehtiHumanities & social sciences communications
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 21 syysk. 2022
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


  • 5141 Sosiologia

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