Scientists' Expertise as Performance: Between State and Society, 1860–1960, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Scientists' Expertise as Performance

Between State and Society, 1860–1960, 1st Edition

Edited by Joris Vandendriessche, Evert Peeters, Kaat Wils


256 pages

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Hardback: 9781848935273
pub: 2015-04-01
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The essays in this collection explore our reliance on experts within a historical context and across a wide range of fields, including agriculture, engineering, health sciences and labour management. Contributors argue that experts were highly aware of their audiences and used performance to gain both scientific and popular support.


"There is a great deal of useful information to be found in this volume, and I hope that it will find its way to scholars who can make good use of it."

- William Thomas, The British Journal for the History of Science

"…the volume offers a valuable and varied picture of what expertise has looked like in modern Europe. (…) This volume represents an important development in the history of expertise as we move from studies promoting the topic’s importance to a bigger picture based on constructivist analyses of expertise in different regions, periods and political systems."

- Don Leggett, Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan in Annals of Science, 2016

About the Series

History and Philosophy of Technoscience

Even though technoscientific research is as old as alchemy and pharmacy, agricultural research and synthetic chemistry, philosophers of science had little to say about it until recently. This book series is the first to explicitly accept the challenge to study not just technical aspects of theory development and hypothesis testing but the specific ways in which knowledge is produced in a technological setting. When one seeks to achieve basic capabilities of manipulation, visualization, or predictive control, how are problems defined and research fields established, what kinds of explanations are sought, how are findings validated, what are the contributions of different kinds of expertise, how do epistemic and social values enter into the research process? And most importantly for civic observers of contemporary research: how is robustness and reliability achieved even in the absence of complete scientific understanding?

Editorial Board: Hanne Andersen (University of Copenhagen), Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (University of Paris, Sorbonne), Martin Carrier (University of Bielefeld), Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds), Don Howard (University of Notre Dame), Ann Johnson (Cornell University), Cyrus Mody (Maastricht University), Maureen O'Malley (University of Sydney), Roger Strand (University of Bergen), Nancy Tuana (Pennsylvania State University).

Direct inquiries to Alfred Nordmann [e-mail link: [email protected]] or Robert Langham [e-mail link: [email protected]].

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SCIENCE / History
SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects