Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society / Edition 1

Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society / Edition 1

by Bruno Latour
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674792912

ISBN-13: 9780674792913

Pub. Date: 10/28/1988

Publisher: Harvard

Science and technology have immense authority and influence in our society, yet their working remains little understood. The conventional perception of science in Western societies has been modified in recent years by the work of philosophers, sociologists and historians of science. In this book Bruno Latour brings together these different approaches to provide a

Overview

Science and technology have immense authority and influence in our society, yet their working remains little understood. The conventional perception of science in Western societies has been modified in recent years by the work of philosophers, sociologists and historians of science. In this book Bruno Latour brings together these different approaches to provide a lively and challenging analysis of science, demonstrating how social context and technical content are both essential to a proper understanding of scientific activity. Emphasizing that science can only be understood through its practice, the author examines science and technology in action: the role of scientific literature, the activities of laboratories, the institutional context of science in the modern world, and the means by which inventions and discoveries become accepted. From the study of scientific practice he develops an analysis of science as the building of networks. Throughout, Bruno Latour shows how a lively and realistic picture of science in action alters our conception of not only the natural sciences but also the social sciences and the sociology of knowledge in general.

This stimulating book, drawing on a wealth of examples from a wide range of scientific activities, will interest all philosophers, sociologists and historians of science, scientists and engineers, and students of the philosophy of social science and the sociology of knowledge.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674792913
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
10/28/1988
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
806,076
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.93(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction Opening Pandora's Black Box

PART I FROM WEARER TO STRONGER RHETORIC

Chapter I Literature

Part A: Controversies

Part B: When controversies flare up the literature becomes technical

Part C: Writing texts that withstand the assaults of a hostile environment

Conclusion: Numbers, more numbers

Chapter 2 Laboratories

Part A: From texts to things: A showdown

Part B: Building up counter-laboratories

Part C: Appealing (to) nature

PART II FROM WEAR POINTS TO STRONGHOLDS

Chapter 3 Machines

Introduction: The quandary of the fact-builder

Part A: Translating interests

Part B: Keeping the interested groups in line

Part C: The model of diffusion versus the model of translation

Chapter 4 Insiders Out

Part A: Interesting others in the laboratories

Part B: Counting allies and resources

PART III FROM SHORT TO LONGER NETWORKS

Chapter 5 Tribunals of Reason

Part A: The trials of rationality

Part B: Sociologics

Part C: Who needs hard facts?

Chapter 6 Centres of calculation

Prologue: The domestication of the savage mind

Part A: Action at a distance

Part B: Centres of calculation

Part C: Metrologies

Appendix 1

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