Sociology of Science

Edited by Markus Seidel (University of Münster)
Assistant editor: Charlott Becker (University of Münster)
About this topic
Summary Sociology of Science aims at an understanding of the social aspects of science. It comprises research about the social structure of the institutions of science and their relationship to other institutions as well as the influence on and construction of scientific knowledge.
Key works Barnes et al 1996 states the prominent 'Strong programme', Collins 1985 presents the sociology of science of the so-called 'Bath school', Fleck 1979 is an early classic in sociology of science, In Latour & Woolgar 1986 a constructivist approach in the sociology of science is defended, Merton 1973 is a collection of key essays by probably the most prominent sociologist of science, De Solla Price is one of the founding fathers of scientometrics , In Shapin & Schaffer 1985, you find an influential case study
Introductions Barnes et al 1996 can be read as an introduction to the field, Helen Longino's article in the Stanford Encyclopedia provides introductory insight in the social dimensions of scientific knowledge
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4077 found
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  1. ON THE EXISTENCE OF BRUNO LATOUR'S MODES.Terence Blake - manuscript
    In this article I take a critical look at the origins and sources of Bruno Latour's pluralism as it is expressed in his book AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE, and compare it to other similar projects (Wittgenstein, Feyerabend, Badiou). I consider the accusations of reductionism and of relativism, and demonstrate that Latour's «empirical metaphysics» is not an ontological reductionism but a pluralist ontology recognising the existence of a plurality of entities and of types of entities. Nor is it an (...)
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  2. Inquiry and Evidence: From the Experimenter's Regress to Evidence-Based Policy.Matthew J. Brown - manuscript
    In the first part of this paper, I will sketch the main features of traditional models of evidence, indicating idealizations in such models that I regard as doing more harm than good. I will then proceed to elaborate on an alternative model of evidence that is functionalist, complex, dynamic, and contextual, which I will call DYNAMIC EVIDENTIAL FUNCTIONALISM. I will demonstrate its application to an illuminating example of scientific inquiry, and defend it from some likely objections. In the second part, (...)
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  3. R.K. Nar*y*n on Derrida and Bourdieu.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    The controversial French philosopher Jacques Derrida is associated with the claim that, in the West, speech has historically been prioritized over writing. In this paper, I present some obvious counterexamples, though I am an admirer. I also raise a challenge to the social theories of Pierre Bourdieu, though I fear they are not wrong. The paper is written as a pastiche of a notable fiction writer from the Indian subcontinent, but set in the West.
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  4. The logic of Bourdieu, by C*rrie Ichik*w* J*nkins.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper contains a brief pastiche of analytic philosopher Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, responding to the sociological theories of Pierre Bourdieu.
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  5. Why Bourdieu? Five responses to Toril Moi’s question.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper presents five responses to Toril Moi’s question of why study Pierre Bourdieu, dividing them into responses which suppose that Bourdieu’s originality is negligible and responses which do not.
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  6. Segregated specialists and nuclear culture.Sean F. Johnston - manuscript
    Communities of nuclear workers have evolved in distinctive contexts. During the Manhattan Project the UK, USA and Canada collectively developed the first reactors, isotope separation plants and atomic bombs and, in the process, nurtured distinct cadres of specialist workers. Their later workplaces were often inherited from wartime facilities, or built anew at isolated locations. For a decade, nuclear specialists were segregated and cossetted to gestate practical expertise. At Oak Ridge Tennessee, for example, the informal ‘Clinch College of Nuclear Knowledge’ aimed (...)
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  7. WikiSilo: A Self-organizing, Crowd Sourcing System for Interdisciplinary Science [Supporting Paper].David Pierre Leibovitz, Robert L. West & Mike Belanger - manuscript
    WikiSilo is a tool for theorizing across interdisciplinary fields such as Cognitive Science, and provides a vocabulary for talking about the problems of doing so. It can be used to demonstrate that a particular cognitive theory is complete and coherent at multiple levels of discourse, and commensurable with and relevant to a wider domain of cognition. WikiSilo is also a minimalist theory and methodology for effectively doing science. WikiSilo is simultaneously similar to and distinct, as well as integrated and separated (...)
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  8. Feminists Who Do: Bridging Insight to Practice in Comprehensive Women’s Health Care.Jamie P. Ross - manuscript
    A qualitative and quantitative understanding of disease variables in relation to local understandings and values is an important dimension that broadens traditional evidence-based medicine (EBM) and is necessary in order to navigate the social perspectives of policymakers. There are dimensions of this research that share the values and practices of feminist research. This paper offers an epistemological analysis of theory and practice that can provide more effective outcomes in women’s health. PATH (Policy Advisory Towards Health) for women, bridges the knowledge (...)
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  9. Model Anarchism.Walter Veit - 2020
    This paper constitutes a radical departure from the existing philosophical literature on models, modeling-practices, and model-based science. I argue that the various entities and practices called 'models' and 'modeling-practices' are too diverse, too context-sensitive, and serve too many scientific purposes and roles, as to allow for a general philosophical analysis. From this recognition an alternative view emerges that I shall dub model anarchism.
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  10. El Corpus Hipocrático y la historia de la medicina como institución social.Biani Paola Sánchez López -
  11. A Current Perspective on Science, Scientists and "Scientific Temper": Busting Myths and Misconceptions.Bimal Prasad Mahapatra -
    This article is devoted to define and characterize ‘Science’ as a discipline by the fundamental principles of scientific investigation. In particular, we propose and argue that ‘Science’ be defined by a set of principles / criteria which underlies scientific- investigation. We argue that this set must include the following principles: (1) Rationality, (2) Objectivity (3) Universality, (4) Internal Consistency, (5) Uniqueness, (6) Reproducibility, (7) The Principle of Falsification, (8) Simplicity and Elegance and (9) Experimental Observation and Verification. We elaborate, through (...)
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  12. Science and Illusions.Luigi Scorzato -
    It is mostly agreed that Popper's criterion of falsifiability fails to provide a useful demarcation between science and pseudo-science, because ad-hoc assumptions are always able to save any theory that conflicts with the empirical data, and a characterization of ad-hoc assumptions is lacking. Moreover, adding some testable predictions is not very difficult. It should be emphasized that the Duhem-Quine argument does not simply make the demarcation approximate, but it makes it totally useless. Indeed, no philosophical criterion of demarcation is presently (...)
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  13. Trusting the Scientific Community: The Development and Validation of an Instrument to Measure Trust in Science.Matthew Slater -
    Trust in the scientific enterprise — in science as an institution — is arguably important to individuals’ and societies’ well-being. Although some measures of public trust in science exist, the recipients of that trust are often ambiguous between trusting individual scientists and the scientific community at large. We argue that more precision would be beneficial — specifically, targeting public trust of the scientific community at large — and describe the development and validation of such an instrument: the Scientific Community Trust (...)
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  14. Sociology and Philosophy.Ali Andisheh - unknown - Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 33.
    Basic concepts in sociology, particularly theoretical sociology, are of a philosopical nature. Like all other branches of science, sociology has its origins in philosophy and has been nourished by it for centuries. Moreover, the subject of this science, in a general sense, is man, who is himself a supernatural existence and needs to know about this field of knowledge.
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  15. Rethinking the Value of Author Contribution Statements in Light of How Research Teams Respond to Retractions.Line Edslev Andersen & K. Brad Wray - forthcoming - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology.
    The authorship policies of scientific journals often assume that in order to be able to properly place credit and responsibility for the content of a collaborative paper we should be able to distinguish the contributions of the various individuals involved. Hence, many journals have introduced a requirement for author contribution statements aimed at making it easier to place credit and responsibility on individual scientists. We argue that from a purely descriptive point of view the practices of collaborating scientists are at (...)
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  16. The Politics of Science Studies.Elena Aronova & Simone Turchetti (eds.) - forthcoming
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  17. Jury Theorems for Peer Review.Marcus Arvan, Liam Kofi Bright & Remco Heesen - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Peer review is often taken to be the main form of quality control on academic research. Usually journals carry this out. However, parts of maths and physics appear to have a parallel, crowd-sourced model of peer review, where papers are posted on the arXiv to be publicly discussed. In this paper we argue that crowd-sourced peer review is likely to do better than journal-solicited peer review at sorting papers by quality. Our argument rests on two key claims. First, crowd-sourced peer (...)
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  18. Vilfredo Pareto and the sociology of knowledge.Brigitte Berger - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  19. Some recent developments in comparative sociology.Brigitte Berger - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  20. Sociology: Discontent present and perennial.Norman Birnbaum - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  21. 3.4 Science Blogs in Research and Popularization of Science: Why, how and for whom?Antoine Blanchard - forthcoming - Common Knowledge: The Challenge of Transdisciplinarity.
  22. Retractions in Science.Wray K. Brad & Andersen Line Edslev - forthcoming - Scientometrics.
    Retractions are rare in science, but there is growing concern about the impact retracted papers have. We present data on the retractions in the journal Science, between 1983 and 2017. Each year, approximately 2.6 papers are retracted; that is about 0.34% of the papers published in the journal. 30% of the retracted papers are retracted within 1 year of publication. Some papers are retracted almost 12 years after publication. 51% of the retracted papers are retracted due to honest mistakes. Smaller (...)
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  23. All in a Grain of Rice. A Review of Philippine Studies on the Social and Economic Implications of the New Technology, SEARCA, College.G. T. Castillo - forthcoming - Laguna.
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  24. Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern.P. Caws - forthcoming - Radical Philosophy.
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  25. Disagreement about Evidence-based Policy.Nick Cowen & Nancy Cartwright - forthcoming - In Maria Baghramian, J. Adam Carter & Richard Rowland (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Disagreement. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
    Evidence based-policy (EBP) is a popular research paradigm in the applied social sciences and within government agencies. Informally, EBP represents an explicit commitment to applying scientific methods to public affairs, in contrast to ideologically-driven or merely intuitive “common-sense” approaches to public policy. More specifically, the EBP paradigm places great weight on the results of experimental research designs, especially randomised controlled trials (RCTs), and systematic literature reviews that place evidential weight on experimental results. One hope is that such research designs and (...)
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  26. Sciences: an attempt to lay a foundation for the study of society and history, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester/Wheatsheaf, 1989, paper£ 10.95, 386 pp. [REVIEW]Wilhelm Dilthey - forthcoming - History of the Human Sciences.
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  27. Economic Impacts of the War.Arthur Feiler - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  28. Respect for Subjects in the Ethics of Causal and Interpretive Social Explanation.Michael L. Frazer - forthcoming - American Political Science Review.
    Rival causal and interpretive approaches to explaining social phenomena have important ethical differences. While human actions can be explained as a result of causal mechanisms, as a meaningful choice based on reasons, or as some combination of the two, it is morally important that social scientists respect others by recognizing them as persons. Interpretive explanations directly respect their subjects in this way, while purely causal explanations do not. Yet although causal explanations are not themselves expressions of respect, they can be (...)
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  29. Science, Technology and Utopia in the seventeenth Century.A. Rupert Hall - forthcoming - Science and Society.
  30. Merton revisited or.A. Rupert Hall - forthcoming - History of Science.
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  31. Biological Glimpses of Some Aspects of Human Sociology.Heini Hediger - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  32. Cumulative Advantage and the Incentive to Commit Fraud in Science.Remco Heesen - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper investigates how the credit incentive to engage in questionable research practices interacts with cumulative advantage, the process whereby high-status academics more easily increase their status than low-status academics. I use a mathematical model to highlight two dynamics that have not yet received much attention. First, due to cumulative advantage, questionable research practices may pay off over the course of an academic career even if they are not attractive at the level of individual publications. Second, because of the role (...)
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  33. How Academic Opinion Leaders Shape Scientific Ideas: An Acknowledgment Analysis.Catherine Herfeld & Malte Doehne - forthcoming - Scientometrics.
    In this paper, we examine how a research institution’s social structure and academic opinion leaders’ presence shaped the early adoption of a scientific innovation. Our case considers the early engagement of mathematical economists at the Cowles Commission with John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. We argue that scholars with administrative leadership functions who were not only scientifically but also organizationally central – in our case the director of research Jacob Marschak – played a crucial (...)
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  34. Select Committee on Science and Technology.of Lords House - forthcoming - Science and Society.
  35. Sociology of culture, M.L. G. Ionin - forthcoming - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España].
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  36. Only Human: a book review of The Turing Guide. [REVIEW]Bjørn Kjos-Hanssen - forthcoming - Notices of the American Mathematical Society 66 (4).
    This is a review of The Turing Guide (2017), written by Jack Copeland, Jonathan Bowen, Mark Sprevak, Robin Wilson, and others. The review includes a new sociological approach to the problem of computability in physics.
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  37. European cultural tradition and the new forms of production and circulation of knowledge.Maurizio Lazzarato - forthcoming - Multitudes: Une Revue Trimestrielle, Politique, Artistique Et Culturelle.
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  38. Revisiting Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science.Carole J. Lee - forthcoming - In Jennifer Saul Michael Brownstein (ed.), Implicit Bias and Philosophy Volume 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    On the surface, developing a social psychology of science seems compelling as a way to understand how individual social cognition – in aggregate – contributes towards individual and group behavior within scientific communities (Kitcher, 2002). However, in cases where the functional input-output profile of psychological processes cannot be mapped directly onto the observed behavior of working scientists, it becomes clear that the relationship between psychological claims and normative philosophy of science should be refined. For example, a robust body of social (...)
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  39. Four Protestant Parishes in Germany: A Study in the Sociology of Religion.Thomas Luckmann - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  40. Science and Justice: Beyond the New Orthodoxy of Value-Laden Science.David Ludwig - forthcoming - In Anjan Chakravartty (ed.), Science and Humanism.
  41. Classic Psychedelics in Translational Research: Addressing Epistemic Challenges from Bench to Bedside.Jaipreet Mattu & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - forthcoming - In Chris Letheby & Philip Gerrans (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Psychedelic Psychiatry. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    In the last decade alone, a growing body of preliminary evidence suggests that classic psychedelics (CPs) can rapidly and durably ameliorate symptoms and cognitive deficits associated with depression. However, the mechanisms by which CPs work in the brain are not well understood. Rodent translational research, in which experimental findings from rodents are translated to humans, is fundamental in achieving this goal. This chapter focuses on a representative subset of human and rodent studies investigating CPs for depression, including the various lines (...)
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  42. The Problem of a Sociology of Religion.Carl Mayer - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  43. The Philosophical Debate on Linguistic Bias: A Critical Perspective.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    Drawing on empirical findings, a number of philosophers have recently argued that people who use English as a foreign language may face a linguistic bias in academia in that they or their contributions may be perceived more negatively than warranted because of their English. I take a critical look at this argument. I first distinguish different phenomena that may be conceptualized as linguistic bias but that should be kept separate to avoid overgeneralizations. I then examine a range of empirical studies (...)
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  44. Values in Science: Assessing the Case for Mixed Claims.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Social and medical scientists frequently produce empirical generalizations that involve concepts partly defined by value judgments. These generalizations, which have been called ‘mixed claims’, raise interesting questions. Does the presence of them in science imply that science is value-laden? Is the value-ladenness of mixed claims special compared to other kinds of value-ladenness of science? Do we lose epistemically if we reformulate these claims as conditional statements? And if we want to allow mixed claims in science, do we need a new (...)
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  45. The social interpretation of science in the seventeenth century.Piyo M. Rattansi - forthcoming - Science and Society.
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  46. The diversity-ability trade-off in scientific problem solving.Samuli Reijula & Jaakko Kuorikoski - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science (Supplement).
    According to the diversity-beats-ability theorem, groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers. We argue that the model introduced by Lu Hong and Scott Page is inadequate for exploring the trade-off between diversity and ability. This is because the model employs an impoverished implementation of the problem-solving task. We present a new version of the model which captures the role of ‘ability’ in a meaningful way, and use it to explore the trade-offs between diversity and ability (...)
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  47. Edgar Zilsel: Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist. (Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook, vol. 27).Donata Romizi, Monika Wulz & Elisabeth Nemeth (eds.) - forthcoming - Cham: Springer Nature.
    This book provides a new all-round perspective on the life and work of Edgar Zilsel (1891-1944) as a philosopher, historian, and sociologist. He was close to the Vienna Circle and has been hitherto almost exclusively referred to in terms of the so-called “Zilsel thesis” on the origins of modern science. Much beyond this “thesis”, Zilsel’s brilliant work provides original insights on a broad number of topics, ranging from the philosophy of probability and statistics to the concept of “genius”, from the (...)
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  48. The concept of class and American sociology.Arnold M. Rose - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  49. (Dis)satisfaction of female and early-career researchers with the academic system in physics.Vlasta Sikimić, Kaja Damnjanović & Slobodan Perovic - forthcoming - Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering.
    Modern physics encompasses theoretical and experimental research divided in subfields with specific features. For instance, high energy physics (HEP) attracts significant funding and has distinct organizational structures, i.e., large laboratories and cross-institutional collaborations. Expensive equipment and large experiments create a specific work atmosphere and human relations. While the gender misbalance is characteristic for STEM, early-career researchers are inherently dependent on their supervisors. This raises the question of how satisfied researchers with working in physics are and how different subgroups – female (...)
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  50. The technological society: Some challenges for social science.Irene Taviss - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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