Science Studies: Probing the Dynamics of Scientific Knowledge

How can we understand the intensifying interactions of science and society? The answers are found in part in the interdisciplinary field called science studies. This field provides us with a rich inventory of analytical approaches. It helps us explore science as a practice, a subsystem, a culture, and an institution. Its observation is that science today is part and parcel of what has come to be known as knowledge society. Nine exemplary studies that inquire into, or are themselves examples of the dynamics of scientific knowledge are included in this book. They cover issues as diverse as eugenics, climate research, and the role of historiography, and make use of different tools such as evolutionary reasoning, metaphor, and bibliometrics. Finally, they ponder the need for science to go public as well as for society to regulate knowledge and restructure universities as the building blocks of our science system. The message is that science studies can and should assume an active role in observing, reflecting, and communicating the intricate encounters of science and society today.