- Subject index
`Fluid, readable and accessible ... I found the overall quality of the book to be excellent. It provides an overview of major (and preceding) developments in the field of science studies. It examines landmark works, authors, concepts and approaches ... I will certainly use this book as one of the course texts' Eileen Crist, Associate Professor, Science & Technology in Society, Virginia Tech Science is at the heart of contemporary society and is therefore central to the social sciences. Yet science studies has often encountered resistance from social scientists. This book attempts to remedy this by giving the most extensive, thorough and best argued account of the field and explaining to social scientists why science matters to them.This is a landmark book that demystifies science studies and successfully bridges the divide between social theory and the sociology of science. Illustrated with relevant, illuminating examples, it provides the ideal guide to science studies and social theory.
Chapter 1: Just What Makes Science Special?
Just What Makes Science Special?
As we saw in the introductory chapter, it is hard to deny that science is special. Science is the exemplar and the measure of knowledge in the contemporary industrialised world. Where religion once set the standard for sure knowledge, and logic was later elevated to the apex of human understanding, in the West science has now secured top position. Science tells us how the world operates. More than this, through its precision and mathematical form, science offers us a tight grasp on the workings of the world; and because of its energetic growth it offers to tell us ever more and more. These are all reasonable bases for thinking very well of science but, compared to the ...