Science Wars

Science Wars

Book Pages: 344 Illustrations: Published: October 1996

American Studies, Cultural Studies, Science and Technology Studies

In the wake of the highly fractious Culture Wars, conservatives in science have launched a backlash against feminist, multiculturalist, and social critics in science studies. Paul Gross and Norman Levitt’s book Higher Superstition, presented as a wake-up call to scientists unaware of the dangers posed by the “science-bashers,” set the shrill tone of this reaction and led to the appearance of a growing number of scare stories about an “antiscience” movement in the op-ed sections of newspapers across the country. Unwilling to be political scapegoats for the decline in the public funding of science and the erosion of the public authority of scientists, many of these critics—natural scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and scholars in cultural studies and literary studies—have taken the opportunity to respond to the backlash in Science Wars.
At a time when scientific knowledge is systematically whisked out of the domain of education and converted into private capital, the essays in this volume are sharply critical of the conservative defense of a value-free science. They suggest that in a world steeped in nuclear, biogenic, and chemical overdevelopment, those who are skeptical of technology are more than entitled to ask for evidence of rationality in those versions of scientific progress that respond only to the managerial needs of state, corporate, and military elites. Whether uncovering the gender-laden assumptions built into the Western scientific method, redefining the scientific claim to objectivity, showing the relationship between science’s empirical worldview and that of mercantile capitalism, or showing how the powerful language of science exercises its daily cultural authority in our society, the essays in Science Wars announce their own powerful message. Analyzing the antidemocratic tendencies within science and its institutions, they insist on a more accountable relationship between scientists and the communities and environments affected by their research.
Revised and expanded from a recent issue of Social Text, Science Wars will provoke thought and controversy among scholars and general readers interested in science studies and current cultural politics.

Contributors. Stanley Aronowitz, Sarah Franklin, Steve Fuller, Sandra Harding, Roger Hart, N. Katherine Hayles, Ruth Hubbard, Joel Kovel, Les Levidow, George Levine, Richard Levins, Richard C. Lewontin, Michael Lynch, Emily Martin, Dorothy Nelkin, Hilary Rose, Andrew Ross, Sharon Traweek, Langdon Winner



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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Andrew Ross is Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in American Studies at New York University and coeditor of Social Text.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Andrew Ross 1

Science is "Good to Think With" / Sandra Harding 16

Does Science Put an End to History, or History to Science? Or, Why Being Pro-science Is Harder than You Think / Steve Fuller 29

Meeting Polemics with Irenics in the Science Wars / Emily Martin 61

My Enemy's Enemy Is--Only Perhaps--My Friend / Hilary Rose 80

The Gloves Come Off: Shattered Alliances in Science and Technology Studies / Langdon Winner 102

The Science Wars: Responses to a Marriage Failed / Dorothy Nelkin 114

What Is Science Studies for and Who Cares? / George Levine 123

Unity, Dyads, Triads, Quads, and Complexity: Cultural Choreographies of Science / Sharon Traweek 139

Making Transparencies: Seeing through the Science Wars / Sarah Franklin 151

Gender and Genitals: Constructs of Sex and Gender / Ruth Hubbard 168

Ten Propositions on Science and Antiscience / Richard Levine 180

Dispatches from the Science Wars / Joel Kovel 192

The Politics of the Science Wars / Stanley Aranowitz 202

Consolidating the Canon / N. Katherine Hayles 226

Detoxifying the "Poison Pen Effect" / Michael Lynch 238

The Flight from Reason: Higher Superstition and the Refutation of Science Studies / Roger Hart 259

A la recherche du temps perdu: A Review Essay / Richard C. Lewontin 293

Science Skirmishes and Science-Policy Research / Les Levidow 302

A Few Good Species / Andrew Ross 311

Contributors 321

Index 325
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1871-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1881-1
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