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Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis

Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis
Author: Barry Barnes - David Bloor - John Henry
ISBN 13: 9780226037318
ISBN 10: 226037312
Edition: 1
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: 1996-07-15
Format: Paperback
Pages: 244
List Price: $29.00

Although science was once seen as the product of individual great men working in isolation, we now realize that, like any other creative activity, science is a highly social enterprise, influenced in subtle as well as obvious ways by the wider culture and values of its time. Scientific Knowledge is the first introduction to social studies of scientific knowledge.

The authors, all noted for their contributions to science studies, have organized this book so that each chapter examines a key step in the process of doing science. Using case studies from cognitive science, physics, and biology to illustrate their descriptions and applications of the social study of science, they show how this approach provides a crucial perspective on how science is actually done.

Scientific Knowledge will be of interest not only to those engaged in science studies, but also to anyone interested in the practice of science.


A sociological analysis of scientific knowledge examining the manner by which scientists arrive at "a scientific approach." The study considers the role of observation and experience in scientific knowledge, classification activities, goals and objectives, the images that scientists project to defend their authority, and the use of mathematics in the natural sciences. Each topic is supported by historical evidence as case studies, using well-known experiments such as R.A. Millikan's attempt to measure the charge on the electron as the foundation for the analysis. Paper edition (unseen), $ 15.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)