Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line

University of Chicago Press, 15 jan. 1999 - 398 sidor
Why is science so credible? Usual answers center on scientists' objective methods or their powerful instruments. In his new book, Thomas Gieryn argues that a better explanation for the cultural authority of science lies downstream, when scientific claims leave laboratories and enter courtrooms, boardrooms, and living rooms. On such occasions, we use "maps" to decide who to believe—cultural maps demarcating "science" from pseudoscience, ideology, faith, or nonsense.

Gieryn looks at episodes of boundary-work: Was phrenology good science? How about cold fusion? Is social science really scientific? Is organic farming? After centuries of disputes like these, Gieryn finds no stable criteria that absolutely distinguish science from non-science. Science remains a pliable cultural space, flexibly reshaped to claim credibility for some beliefs while denying it to others. In a timely epilogue, Gieryn finds this same controversy at the heart of the raging "science wars."


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Contesting Credibility Cartographically
John Tyndalls Double BoundaryWork Science Religion and Mechanics in Victorian England
The US Congress Demarcates Natural Science and Social Science Twice
May the Best Science Win Competition for the Chair of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh 1836
The Cold Fusion of Science Mass Media and Politic
Hybridizing Credibilities Albert and Gabrielle Howard Compost Organic Waste Science and the Rest of Society
House to Road Science Wars as BoundaryWork
Bibliography of Secondary Works

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Om författaren (1999)

Thomas F. Gieryn is professor of sociology at Indiana University. He is the editor of three books, most recently of Theories of Science in Society.

Bibliografisk information