The world around us is continually being shaped by science, and by society’s relationship to it. In recent years sociologists have been increasingly preoccupied with the latter, and now in this fascinating book, Massimiano Bucchi provides a brief introduction to this topical issue.
Bucchi provides clear and unassuming summaries of all the major theoretical positions within the sociology of science, illustrated with many fascinating examples. Theories covered include Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific change, the sociology of scientific knowledge, actor-network theory, and the social construction of technology. The second half of the book looks at recent public controversies over the role of science in the modern world including:
* the Sokal affair, otherwise known as the science wars
* debates over public understanding of science, such as global warming and genetically modified food
* the implications of the human genome project.
This much needed introduction to a rapidly growing area brings theory alive and will be essential reading for all students of the sociology of science.
Introduction Prologue 1. The Development of Modern Science and the Birth of the Sociology of Science 2. Paradigms and Styles of Thought: A 'Social Window' on Science? 3. Is Mathematics Socially Shaped? The Strong Programme 4. Inside the Laboratory 5. Tearing Bicycles and Missiles Apart: The Sociology of Technology 6. Science Wars' 7. Communicating Science 8. A New Science? References. Index of Names