Beyond the science wars: the missing discourse about science by Ullica Segerstrale

By Ullica Segerstrale

Past the technological know-how Wars bargains a vast contextualization of the "Science Wars"-an ongoing debate among scientists and social scientists over the character and which means of science-from interdisciplinary sociological, historic, clinical, political, and cultural views. past offering an knowing of the clash itself, this e-book offers the reviews of 2 technology and expertise reviews' (STS) "founding fathers" (Bernard Barber and John Ziman), a scientist's protest that STS has deserted its unique project, a historian's view of the fluctuating social aid for technological know-how, and a sociologist's research of the explanations of "anti-antiscience warriors." moreover, an STS statesman discusses ongoing structural adjustments in technological know-how, a sociologist kinds out various perspectives of objectivity, and an STS veteran from the technology Wars brings us stories from front and evaluates the that means of contemporary occasions.

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This book took issue with what it called the academic or "the cultural left," an umbrella term the authors used to bunch together a number of academic endeavors: social constructivists, postmodern humanists, feminists, environmentalistsin short, the many different academic strands engaged in contemporary critical analysis of science. This was also the year of the first of two conferences arranged by The National Association of Scholars, an organization typically working toward bringing back a traditional university curriculum, now almost exclusively engaged in combatting a purported "antiscience" threat.

What, in this situation, might conceivably have the power to cut through the Gordian knot of the Science Wars? The Meaning of Alan Sokal's Hoax One thing that, arguably, did this was the famous Sokal Hoax. The physicist Alan Sokal found a way, despite the impasse, to communicate between the scientific and postmodern worldview, and at the same time conduct what at least for many scientists looked like a crucial experiment. (Note, however, that Sokal's target was the postmodern and cultural criticism of science rather than the social constructivist one within science studies.

That issue is of particular interest also to the authors of this volume, over half of whom have graduate degrees in science. The book is directed to general readers and academics alike, with a special eye to scientists. The first chapter provides a background to recent developments and an overview of some key events in the Science Wars. Each of the following chapters has an editor's introduction, intended to summarize and contextualize the argument and provide continuity between chapters. Page 1 Chapter One Science and Science Studies: Enemies or Allies?

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