An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies / Edition 2

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Distinctive in its attention to both the underlying philosphical and sociological aspects of science and technology, the second edition of this popular textbook provides students with an up-to-date road map of the complex interdisciplinary terrain of science and technology studies.

After presenting the broad historical background to the field, the book explores a variety of relevant topics, among them realism and social construction, discourse and rhetoric, objectivity, and the role of experiment and theory. Numerous illustrative examples and empirical studies elucidate such topics as nuclear missile testing, the cold fusion controversy, teaching mathematical physics in the 19th century, digital rights management, pharmaceutical clinical trials, and sick building syndrome. This updated, expanded, and reorganized new edition also now includes new material on political economies of scientific and technological knowledge and the democratization of technical decisions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Sergio Sismondo’s book represents a very useful and clear introduction to Science and Technology Studies (STS), a relatively new academic field that has at its core the relationship between scientific knowledge, technological systems, and society . . . The rich set of references can help readers who want to learn more.”  (Theor Med Bioeth, 1 May 2012)

Praise for first edition

"For an introduction to science and technology studies, one cannot find a better book. Sismondo sets a high standard for clarity of writing for books aimed at university students. The important historical background blends well with the underlying philosophical and sociological concepts. Extremely important to all readers are the boxed-text case studies, definitions, and examples that permeate and intelligently adorn every chapte. The index and references immensely help readers desiring to learn more." (Choice, November 2003)

"Carefully argued and well balanced…topics are handled with a clarity and lightness... overall impression…of a field with solid foundations that is looking to the future." (ISIS)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405187657
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/19/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 608,046
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sergio Sismondo teaches Philosophy and Sociology at Queen's University, Canada. He is the author of Science Without Myth: On Constructions, Reality, and Social Knowledge (1995), The Art of Science (with Boris Castel, 2003), and numerous articles on subjects ranging from computer simulation to pharmaceutical research.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 The Prehistory of Science and Technology Studies 1

2 The Kuhnian Revolution 12

3 Questioning Functionalism in the Sociology of Science 23

4 Stratification and Discrimination 36

5 The Strong Programme and the Sociology of Knowledge 47

6 The Social Construction of Scientific and Technical Realities 57

7 Feminist Epistemologies of Science 72

8 Actor-Network Theory 81

9 Two Questions Concerning Technology 93

10 Studying Laboratories 106

11 Controversies 120

12 Standardization and Objectivity 136

13 Rhetoric and Discourse 148

14 The Unnaturalness of Science and Technology 157

15 The Public Understanding of Science 168

16 Expertise and Public Participation 180

17 Political Economies of Knowledge 189

References 205

Index 236

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