Living in Pasteur’s Quadrant: Navigating the Uncharted Waters between Basic and Applied Research

Open guest lecture by Professor Roberta Golinkoff, University of Delaware, USA.

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About the lecture

How can social scientists balance the need to do basic science with a desire to be relevant to the questions and issues of their time?  In his classic book, Pasteur’s Quadrant, Daniel Stokes proposes an answer. Cross-cutting two dimensions - a quest for understanding and considerations of use, Stokes offers 4 quadrants that capture the areas of scientific progress.

This talk signals a migration towards Pasteur’s quadrant, that exemplifies what Stokes called use-inspired basic research. Using data from the science of learning and early development, I offer examples of how my work in language, and literacy fits neatly within this quadrant. I also question how, in a world filled with social media and distorted messages about our science, more of us can entertain working in Pasteur’s Quadrant, while also jumping beyond use-inspired work to take dissemination of science seriously. It is imperative that our institutions learn to share our science in a way that preserves its integrity while increasing its utility for the wider community.

About the Lecturer

Professor Golinkoff is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor at the University of Delaware, the author of 16 books and over 150 publications on language acquisition, playful learning and spatial development. In parallel with her outstanding research achievements, Professor Golinkoff has engaged the public like few others. She is the co-founder of Learning Landscapes, a collection of projects aimed at transforming cityscapes into opportunities for playful learning. Her Ultimate Block Party held in Central Park (New York) in 2010 to celebrate the arts and sciences of play, attracted over 50’000 people. Professor Golinkoff is the recipient of many awards, among them the prestigious American Educational Research Association Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award (2018), the Society for Research in Child Development Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award (2017), the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award (2015) and The Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society (2011).


Department of Psychology

Published Oct. 9, 2019 11:44 AM - Last modified Oct. 14, 2019 9:59 AM