What Have We Learned about Science and Technology from the Russian Experience?

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The author believes that the Russian example reveals in detail both the strengths and the weaknesses of social constructivism. Though many areas of Russian science show the unmistakable influence of social factors, the deviation of the Soviet Union from standard genetics for many years, followed by its eventual restoration, indicates the weakness of social constructivism and illustrates the relationship of science to reality. He further maintains that although science in Russia has been terribly abused, it ...
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Overview

The author believes that the Russian example reveals in detail both the strengths and the weaknesses of social constructivism. Though many areas of Russian science show the unmistakable influence of social factors, the deviation of the Soviet Union from standard genetics for many years, followed by its eventual restoration, indicates the weakness of social constructivism and illustrates the relationship of science to reality. He further maintains that although science in Russia has been terribly abused, it nonetheless remains strong; it has proven to be much more resilient than most previous observers believed, and, furthermore, is not nearly as directly dependent on political freedom for its vitality as Western analysts maintained.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Graham (history of science, MIT and Harvard) examines the scientific community of the former Soviet Union and its relevance to science in general. He argues that the Russian example reveals both the ability of science to flourish in adverse conditions and its susceptibility to influence by social factors. Five chapters examine the questions of whether science is a social construction, if science and technology are Westernizing influences, how robust science is under stress, how willing scientists are to reform their own institutions, and who should control technology. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804732765
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Pages: 193
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Is Science a Social Construction? 1
2 Are Science and Technology Westernizing Influences? 32
3 How Robust Is Science Under Stress? 52
4 How Willing Are Scientists to Reform Their Own Institutions? 74
5 Who Should Control Technology? 98
Conclusion 125
Notes 139
Index 167
Other Books by the Author on Russian and Soviet Science 179
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