Can philosophy be applied successfully to the decision process in areas as diverse as business, the public sector and medicine? In “Socratic Dialogue as Collegial Reasoning”, Stan Van Hooft explains a particular method of analysis involving dialogue, which professionals make in coming to joint decisions and judgements. The examples Van Hooft uses are provocative and intriguing, and underlie the importance of confronting our lack of knowledge rather than pretending we know everything – Socrates would have approved!
Bibliometric analysis is an area of research which, I believe, has not been given the attention it merits. In general terms it looks at relationships by employing citation analysis. The maps generated have value not only as a static representation of a field of interest, but also as a dynamical picture showing changing relationships over time. These reflect the evolution of knowledge systems and can be applied to areas as varied as scientific theory change, government policy outcome and public awareness monitoring. In “Indicators for Measurement of the Knowledge Base”, Loet Leydesdorff applies bibliometric methods to an array of data by combining different types of indicators (research articles, web pages, patent information) so as to provide useful information on the practice of science.
We include in this issue an article by Wolfgang Goede based on his recent contribution to the Third World Conference of Science Journalists in Brazil 2002. In “Civil journalism and scientific Citizenship”, he reinforces the idea of engagement of the public in science – “scientific citizens”, and the role of journalists to explain science with clarity as well as passion.
We end this issue with a short comment by Ernst von Glasersfeld on Neil Ryder’s article Science and Rhetoric in issue 9: January 2003. In addition to publishing articles we also would like to encourage debate and welcome short “discussion” or “comment” contributions on articles previously published in The Pantaneto Forum.