`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.

Knowledge and Social Interests

Knowledge and social interests


The main theory of social interests as applied to the sociology of scientific knowledge was developed by Barnes, MacKenzie, Shapin and fellow authors including Pickering. As they were all based at the Science Studies Unit in Edinburgh, this interpretation of the sociology of science has often been dubbed the ‘Edinburgh School’. This title is somewhat misleading, however, both because the majority of these authors are no longer in Edinburgh and because Edinburgh-based Bloor was never a practitioner of this approach in the strict sense. Furthermore, as we shall see, no single theory of social interests has been successfully stabilised. Various ‘Edinburgh’ authors use the term in differing ways and there is no single exemplary study which serves to represent ...

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