For the most current, comprehensive resource in this rapidly evolving field, look no further than the Revised Edition of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. This masterful volume is the first resource in more than 15 years to define, summarize, and synthesize this complex multidisciplinary, international field. Tightly edited with contributions by an internationally recognized team of leading scholars, this volume addresses the crucial contemporary issues—both traditional and nonconventional—social studies, political studies, and humanistic studies in this changing field. Containing theoretical essays, extensive literature reviews, and detailed case studies, this remarkable volume clearly sets the standard for the field. It does nothing less than establish itself as the benchmark, one that will carry the field well into the next century.
Part III: Scientific and Technical Cultures
It has long been understood that scientific knowledge is embedded in political economy and culture. But the exact interconnections between such social and cultural factors and the actual content of science remain opaque. Since the 1970s, S&TS scholars have used a powerful method—ethnography—to shed light on such connections. They examine science not as an abstract logic but as the activity of scientific communities.
In the first chapter in this section, Helen Watson-Verran and David Turnbull present an anthropology of knowledge. They examine wide-ranging cases: from the builders of Gothic cathedrals to past Amerindian cultures to still-existing aboriginal societies. Until recently, these and other indigenous knowledge-producing systems were characterized pejoratively as primitive, value laden, and local—nonscientific to say the very ...