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Thinking about science and delivery leads to deal with the relationship among science and society (science and societal actors). A key instrument to this purpose is the theory of socialisation of scientific and technological research (STR), with its own applications and its possible developments. One assumption from which this theory starts is that scientific research is currently perceived as not being fully integrated in society. This is probably connected with the difficulty of STR actors to face up with some profound changes occurred in the last decades. Such changes concern:
- the societies (including LDCs), in which knowledge becomes a crucial factor and in which individuals and groups are gaining more and more weight;
- the ways in which science is produced, which in turn increases the demand for a better contextualisation of STR with regard to the different human realities, as well as for a greater application of research results in terms of innovation;
- the rising importance of actors " public, private and non profit" external to the scientific "establishment", but who have an increasing role in orienting the research and its products.
In this new context, which highly industrialised countries, emerging economies and developing countries all share to a certain extent, STR - despite its centrality for economic and social development - is often put into question and tends to be perceived as a sort of foreign body with respect to societies. Hence we may argue that faced up by the challenge of a better integration with society STR is involved in two types of social processes already under way:
- the adaptation to the features, needs and expectations of society and of its members.
- the identity, that is STR acquiring greater control over itself and over the social dynamics (including political, cultural, organisational, or communication ones) increasingly embedded in the research.
STR socialisation has thus to be regarded as a composite and multidirectional process. In order to study it, a constructionist approach has to be followed, identifying the areas in which actors involved in STR construct the relationship between science, technology and society, both on the "adaptation" side and on the "identity" side. 7 areas have to be taken into account:
- Scientific practice (the dynamisms of scientific groups in the strict sense);
- Scientific mediation (the activities aimed at promoting/facilitating a productive cooperation among researchers and other key actors inside and outside their research institutions);
- Scientific communication (as an instrument, not only to inform or dialogue, but also to build a higher and more widespread responsibility on research among the different actors
- Evaluation (practices, programmes and measures aimed at ensuring accountability in the research world, designing policies and coordinating the allocation of funds);
- Innovation (the interactions between research, economics and societal needs);
- Governance (a set of structures and processes for collective decision making, involving both governmental and non-governmental actors);
- Gender (science as an unfriendly environment for women also due to a hidden structure of discrimination; persistence of gender stereotypes identifying science and technology with masculinity; the underrepresentation of women in scientific leadership).
These areas as a whole represent a taxonomy of the domains in which STR socialisation processes can take place, as processes of construction of the relationship between science and society, enabling to detect phenomena which otherwise would risk not to be considered, or not to be grasped in all their relevance. Firstly we can identify, "structural" phenomena, related to existing social structures the actors cope with (such as social norms, behavioural models, social roles, values, etc.) and that can either hinder or facilitate their action. But we can also identify "agential" phenomena, that is referred to the actors and their agency, i.e. to their orientation to modify reality, which can be translated into specific practices.

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