Science is continually confronted by new and difficult social and ethical problems. Some of these problems have arisen from the transformation of the academic science of the prewar period into the industrialized science of the present. Traditional theories of science are now widely recognized as obsolete. In Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems (originally published in 1971), Jerome R. Ravetz analyzes the work of science as the creation and investigation of problems. He demonstrates the role of choice and value judgment, and the inevitability of error, in scientific research. Ravetz's new introductory essay is a masterful statement of how our understanding of science has evolved over the last two decades.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Transaction Edition -- Preface -- Introduction -- PART I. THE VARIETIES OF SCIENTIFIC EXPERIENCE -- 1. ‘What is Science ?’ -- 2. Social Problems of Industrialized Science -- PART II. THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE -- 3. Science as Craftsman’s Work -- 4: Scientific Inquiry: Problem-Solving on Artificial Objects -- 5. Methods -- 6. Facts and their Evolution -- 7. The Special Character of Scientific Knowledge -- PART III. SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY -- 8. The Protection of Property -- 9. The Management of Novelty -- 10. Quality Control in Science -- 11. Ethics in Scientific Activity -- PART IV. SCIENCE IN THE MODERN WORLD -- 12. Technical Problems -- 13. Practical Problems -- 14. Immature and Ineffective Fields of Inquiry -- PART V. CONCLUSION: THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE Index of Names Index of Topics General Index.
Jerome R. Ravetz taught history and philosophy of science at the University of Leeds; he is now based in London, as a consultant and independent scholar.