Many of the scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century were first reported in the journal Nature. A Century of Nature brings together in one volume Nature's greatest hits—reproductions of seminal contributions that changed science and the world, accompanied by essays written by leading scientists (including four Nobel laureates) that provide historical context for each article, explain its insights in graceful, accessible prose, and celebrate the serendipity of discovery and the rewards of searching for needles in haystacks.
In The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice, philosophers, sociologists, and historians of science offer a multidisciplinary view of the complex interrelationships of values in science and society in both contemporary and historic contexts. They analyze the impact of commercialization and politicization on epistemic aspirations, and, conversely, the ethical dilemmas raised by “practically relevant” science in today's society. For example, much scientific research over the past quarter century has been guided by the financing that supports it. What effect has this had on the quality of research produced and the advancement of real knowledge?
The contributors reveal how social values affect objectivity, theory, and the direction of inquiry, and examine the byproducts of external value systems in topics such as “expertise” and “socially robust knowledge,” among others. They view science's own internal value systems, the earlier disconnection of societal values from the scientific process, and the plausibility of “value free” science.
The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice presents an in-depth analysis that places the role of values at the center of philosophical debate and raises questions of morality, credibility, and the future role of values in scientific inquiry.
In this eloquent guide to the meanings of the postmodern era, Albert Borgmann charts the options before us as we seek alternatives to the joyless and artificial culture of consumption. Borgmann connects the fundamental ideas driving his understanding of society's ills to every sphere of contemporary social life, and goes beyond the language of postmodern discourse to offer a powerfully articulated vision of what this new era, at its best, has in store.
"[This] thoughtful book is the first remotely realistic map out of the post modern labyrinth."—Joseph Coates, The Chicago Tribune
"Rather astoundingly large-minded vision of the nature of humanity, civilization and science."—Kirkus Reviews
The commodification of science—often identified with commercialization, or the selling of expertise and research results and the “capitalization of knowledge” in academia and beyond—has been investigated as a threat to the autonomy of science and academic culture and criticized for undermining the social responsibility of modern science. In From Commodification to the Common Good, Hans Radder revisits the commodification of the sciences from a philosophical perspective to focus instead on a potential alternative, the notion of public-interest science. Scientific knowledge, he argues, constitutes a common good only if it serves those affected by the issues at stake, irrespective of commercial gain. Scrutinizing the theory and practices of scientific and technological patenting, Radder challenges the legitimacy of commercial monopolies and the private appropriation and exploitation of research results. His book invites us to reevaluate established laws and to question doctrines and practices that may impede or even prohibit scientific research and social progress so that we might achieve real and significant transformations in service of the common good.
For twenty years, the renowned philosopher of science Sandra Harding has argued that science and technology studies, postcolonial studies, and feminist critique must inform one another. In The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader, Harding puts those fields in critical conversation, assembling the anthology that she has long wanted for classroom use. In classic and recent essays, international scholars from a range of disciplines think through a broad array of science and technology philosophies and practices. The contributors reevaluate conventional accounts of the West’s scientific and technological projects in the past and present, rethink the strengths and limitations of non-Western societies’ knowledge traditions, and assess the legacies of colonialism and imperialism. The collection concludes with forward-looking essays, which explore strategies for cultivating new visions of a multicultural, democratic world of sciences and for turning those visions into realities. Feminist science and technology concerns run throughout the reader and are the focus of several essays. Harding provides helpful background for each essay in her introductions to the reader’s four sections.
Contributors Helen Appleton Karen Bäckstrand Lucille H. Brockway Stephen B. Brush Judith Carney Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment Arturo Escobar Maria E. Fernandez Ward H. Goodenough Susantha Goonatilake Sandra Harding Steven J. Harris Betsy Hartmann Cori Hayden Catherine L. M. Hill John M. Hobson Peter Mühlhäusler Catherine A. Odora Hoppers Consuelo Quiroz Jenny Reardon Ella Reitsma Ziauddin Sardar Daniel Sarewitz Londa Schiebinger Catherine V. Scott Colin Scott Mary Terrall D. Michael Warren
We are accustomed to thinking of science and its findings as universal. After all, one atom of carbon plus two of oxygen yields carbon dioxide in Amazonia as well as in Alaska; a scientist in Bombay can use the same materials and techniques to challenge the work of a scientist in New York; and of course the laws of gravity apply worldwide. Why, then, should the spaces where science is done matter at all? David N. Livingstone here puts that question to the test with his fascinating study of how science bears the marks of its place of production.
Putting Science in Its Place establishes the fundamental importance of geography in both the generation and the consumption of scientific knowledge, using historical examples of the many places where science has been practiced. Livingstone first turns his attention to some of the specific sites where science has been made—the laboratory, museum, and botanical garden, to name some of the more conventional locales, but also places like the coffeehouse and cathedral, ship's deck and asylum, even the human body itself. In each case, he reveals just how the space of inquiry has conditioned the investigations carried out there. He then describes how, on a regional scale, provincial cultures have shaped scientific endeavor and how, in turn, scientific practices have been instrumental in forming local identities. Widening his inquiry, Livingstone points gently to the fundamental instability of scientific meaning, based on case studies of how scientific theories have been received in different locales. Putting Science in Its Place powerfully concludes by examining the remarkable mobility of science and the seemingly effortless way it moves around the globe.
From the reception of Darwin in the land of the Maori to the giraffe that walked from Marseilles to Paris, Livingstone shows that place does matter, even in the world of science.
In Science and Social Inequality, Sandra Harding makes the provocative argument that the philosophy and practices of today's Western science, contrary to its Enlightenment mission, work to insure that more science will only worsen existing gaps between the best and worst off around the world. She defends this claim by exposing the ways that hierarchical social formations in modern Western sciences encode antidemocratic principles and practices, particularly in terms of their services to militarism, the impoverishment and alienation of labor, Western expansion, and environmental destruction. The essays in this collection--drawing on feminist, multicultural, and postcolonial studies--propose ways to reconceptualize the sciences in the global social order.
At issue here are not only social justice and environmental issues but also the accuracy and comprehensiveness of our understandings of natural and social worlds. The inadvertent complicity of the sciences with antidemocratic projects obscures natural and social realities and thus blocks the growth of scientific knowledge. Scientists, policy makers, social justice movements and the consumers of scientific products (that is, the rest of us) can work together and separately to improve this situation.
Recent scholarship has argued that "race" is a fairly recent concept in Western thought and arose concurrently with modern science. Yet, in recent decades, science has been a powerful tool employed against racialist thinking. How is it that science has been a factor for both the rise of racialist thinking and its demise? This volume of essays, drawn from the journals Isis and Osiris, demonstrates that race and political and social ideologies have interacted in complex and unexpected ways.