by Professor of Sociology National school of Public Health
EVENT: «CONSTANTINOS A. DOXIADIS AND HIS WORK» 19-21/1/2006
“Ekistics a science or a tool for action?”
(The Doxiadis paradox in the Greek research landscape)
by Demosthenes Agrafiotis
Professor of Sociology National school of Public Health
If one attempts to record the Greek «prehistory» of scientific and technological policy, given the fact that the first official and systematic forging of this policy took place at the end of the 70’s, one realizes that the case of Doxiadis represents a special, an exceptional case in the landscape of scientific and technological research of the 50’s, the 60’s and the 70’s.
There is no doubt that during that period there were research groups, distinguished researchers, as well as activities of research and technology, but not in the sense, form, structure and procedures that made their mark in the countries of «existing scientism», that is to say, countries with a strong tradition in R/D Policy. The emergence of these activities of research, education and post graduate studies by the efforts of C.A. Doxiadis team, constitutes a «paradox».
The ambition of C.A. Doxiadis not only to apply the dominant given data of the Planning of the Urban and non-Urban space, of Town Planning and the Organization of the Space, but also to create a scientific field even an epistemological area named «Ekistics» does not correspond to Greek context but is mainly connected with the international dynamics of scientific and technological knowledge, and of course with the dynamics of human settlements.
But is “Ekistics” a Science? Or is it a «tool», a method of action or intervention? How could one define the science of “Ekistics” in the past, today, or even in the future? Is it possible for a country «weak», scientifically speaking, like Greece, to develop, sustain and keep improving a scientific field like Ekistics?
Elements of an answer to these questions will be given with the history of science and research during the decades 50-80, but also taking into consideration to the dynamics of the interaction between Greek society and our globalized world in relation to the challenges of decision making and planning concerning Urban and rural life past, present and future.
Read the article enclosed.