Re-Thinking Science: Knowledge and the Public in an Age of Uncertainty / Edition 1

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Overview

Re-Thinking Science presents an account of the dynamic relationship between society and science. Despite the mounting evidence of a much closer, interactive relationship between society and science, current debate still seems to turn on the need to maintain a 'line' to demarcate them. The view persists that there is a one-way communication flow from science to society - with scant attention given to the ways in which society communicates with science.

The authors argue that changes in society now make such communications both more likely and more numerous, and that this is transforming science not only in its research practices and the institutions that support it but also deep in its epistemological core. To explain these changes, Nowotny, Scott and Gibbons have developed an open, dynamic framework for re-thinking science.

The authors conclude that the line which formerly demarcated society from science is regularly transgressed and that the resulting closer interaction of science and society signals the emergence of a new kind of science: contextualized or context-sensitive science. The co-evolution between society and science requires a more or less complete re-thinking of the basis on which a new social contract between science and society might be constructed. In their discussion the authors present some of the elements that would comprise this new social contract.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'What you always wanted to know about the "knowledge society",Nowotny, Scott and Gibbons are telling it in Re-ThinkingScience, the sequel to their much acclaimed book The NewProduction of Knowledge (1994). This is a splendid book, fullof empirical insight and intellectual vision. Re-ThinkingScience is reliable and robust at the same time.' WolfLepenies, Rektor, Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin

'The authors take us beyond the dichotomies of science andsociety in their ovular new work, Re-Thinking Science, intoa new agora of interactive forces in which old institutionalboundaries of science, industry and government are transcended.Re-Thinking Science re-thinks society.' Henry Etzkowitz,Director, Science Policy Institute, State University of New York atPurchase

'This book goes far beyond The New Production ofKnowledge (1994), the earlier collection of essays by MichaelGibbons, Helga Nowotny and others. That book launched the debate onthe trend towards a new regime for the production of knowledge andthe practice of research ... Re-Thinking Science revisitsthese themes in the form of a single brilliant essay in socialtheory ... a splendid vision of a probable future world, in whichscience and society will increasingly overlap and be exposed to thegrowing expertise and contesting forces of the agora.'Nature

'This book is packed with novel and quite complicated ideas ...We look forward to a further harvest of sharp observations and deepinterpretations in the next product from this outstanding scholarlyteam.' Interdisciplinary Science Review

'an enourmously important book, which deserves to be widely readand discussed.' Science as Culture

The book could be influential in providing sustenance to highereducation managers as they struggle to find new definitions of whatit means to be a university. Political leaders too would do well tostudy it in order to move their policy-making away from dependenceon mode 1 ideas. The vision of the science of the future outlinedin the book could perhaps have gone further. However, there is abalance to be struck between being influential and being visionary.This book will clearly be influential. The vision will hopefullygrow." Studies in Higher Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745626079
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/9/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Nowotny is Chair of Social Studies of Science at theSwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich
Professor Scott is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of KingstonUniversity
Professor Gibbons is Secretary General of the Association ofCommonwealth Universities

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Transformation of Society 1
2 Beyond Modernity - Breaching the Frontiers 21
3 The Co-Evolution of Society and Science 30
4 The Context Speaks Back 50
5 The Transformation of Knowledge Institutions 66
6 The Role of Universities in Knowledge Production 79
7 How Does Contextualization Happen? 96
8 Weakly Contextualized Knowledge 121
9 Strongly Contextualized Knowledge 131
10 Contextualization of the Middle Range 143
11 From Reliable Knowledge to Socially Robust Knowledge 166
12 The Epistemological Core 179
13 Science Moves into the Agora 201
14 Socially Distributed Expertise 215
15 Re-Visioning Science 230
16 Re-Thinking Science is not Science Re-Thought 245
References 263
Index 270
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