No Other Gods: On Science and American Social Thoughtby Charles E. Rosenberg
In its original edition, No Other Gods offered a pioneering and influential examination of the ways in which social institutions and value shaped American scientific practice and thought.
Description: In 16 essays organized into two parts, Charles Rosenberg, America's senior historian of medicine, uses diverse late 19th and early 20th century sources to explore historical relationships among science, society, and social thought.
Purpose: Believing that the social uses and social character of science are too important and too complex to be left to scientists, Rosenberg looks at formative stages and people in genetics, neurology, public health, and agricultural research to provide a broad historical context for ideas and institutions that shaped their time and inform our own. Rosenberg is a master at showing the interpenetration of scientific ideas into public policy debates and social movements.
Audience: Although the essays are brief, each is beautifully crafted and should appeal to the general reader with an interest in gender, genetics, public health, agricultural science, and the social and historical construction of scientific ideas generally. Well-referenced, the essays also are useful for historians, both amateur and professional.
Features: This edition, the second since 1976, includes a new preface that provides a context for recent public debate between social scientists, philosophers, historians, and working scientists. Also, three new chapters that were previously published in scholarly journals address some aspects of the ideology and social context of knowledge-making in science.
Assessment: Readers with an interest in the early development of American genetics will find an accessible and authoritative presentation of crucial ideas and social factors in a short essay. Taken together, the collection addresses an important dilemma in late 20th century learned culture: How can we reconcile the scientist's understanding of science as a quest for truth and knowledge with the historian's conviction that all knowledge bears the marks of the culture that gave it birth?
Ronald L. Numbers
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Revised Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.19(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.94(d)
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Meet the Author
Charles E. Rosenberg is the Janice and Julian Bers Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of numerous books, including The Cholera Years and The Care of Strangers. He was recently honored with the History of Science Society's Sarton Medal, its most prestigious award.
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