Science Studies: Probing the Dynamics of Scientific Knowledge

Overview

How can we understand the intensifying interactions of science and society? The answers are found in part in the interdisciplinary field called science studies. This field provides us with a rich inventory of analytical approaches. It helps us explore science as a practice, a subsystem, a culture, and an institution. Its observation is that science today is part and parcel of what has come to be known as "knowledge society."

Nine exemplary studies that inquire into, or are ...

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Overview

How can we understand the intensifying interactions of science and society? The answers are found in part in the interdisciplinary field called science studies. This field provides us with a rich inventory of analytical approaches. It helps us explore science as a practice, a subsystem, a culture, and an institution. Its observation is that science today is part and parcel of what has come to be known as "knowledge society."

Nine exemplary studies that inquire into, or are themselves examples of the dynamics of scientific knowledge are included in this book. They cover issues as diverse as eugenics, climate research, and the role of historiography, and make use of different tools such as evolutionary reasoning, metaphor, and bibliometrics. Finally, they ponder the need for science to go public as well as for society to regulate knowledge and restructure universities as the building blocks of our science system. The message is that science studies can and should assume an active role in observing, reflecting, and communicating the intricate encounters of science and society today.

Sabine Maasen teaches sociology at Basel University, Switzerland. Matthias Winterhager is senior researcher and coordinator of bibliometric studies at the Institute for Science and Technology Studies, University of Bielefeld, Germany.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783933127648
  • Publisher: Transcript Verlag
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Science Studies 9
Probing the Dynamics of Scientific Knowledge 9
Eugenics - Looking at the Role of Science Anew: A Statistical Viewpoint on the Testing of Historical Hypotheses: The Case of Eugenics 55
Humanities - Inquiry Into the Growing Demand for Histories: Making Sense 71
Bibliometrics - Monitoring Emerging Fields: A Bibliometric Methodology for Exploring Interdisciplinary, 'Unorthodox' Fields of Science. A Case Study of Environmental Medicine 85
Science Policy - Making Universities Cope with Science Today: German Universities on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century 123
Evolutionary Theory and the Social Sciences - Increasingly a Mutual Exchange: Culture is Part of Human Biology. Why the Superorganic Concept Serves the Human Sciences Badly 145
Climatology - Innovative Research Strategies in a Dynamic Field: Making Ice Talk: Notes from a Participant Observer on Climate Research in Antarctica 179
Metaphors - Moving Targets in the (Social) Sciences: Why Metaphor? Toward a Metaphorics of Scientific Practice 213
Science and the Public - Pushing PUS with Science Studies: What Kind of 'Public Understanding of Science' Programs Best Serve a Democracy? 235
Knowledge Politics - The Paradox of Regulating Knowledge Dynamics: Policing Knowledge 257
Indices 291
Subjects 291
Authors 297
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