An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

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An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies, Second Edition reflects the latest advances in the field while continuing to provide students with a road map to the complex interdisciplinary terrain of science and technology studies.


Distinctive in its attention to both the underlying philosophical and sociological aspects of science and technology
Explores core topics such as realism and social construction, discourse and rhetoric, objectivity, and the public understanding of science
Includes numerous empirical studies and illustrative examples to elucidate the topics discussed
Now includes new material on political economies of scientific and technological knowledge, and democratizing technical decisions
Other features of the new edition include improved readability, updated references, chapter reorganization, and more material on medicine and technology
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Product details

  • Paperback | 254 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 15.24mm | 362.87g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd Edition
  • 1405187654
  • 9781405187657
  • 212,849

Back cover copy

Distinctive in its attention to both the underlying philosophical and sociological aspects of science and technology, the second edition of this popular textbook provides students with an up-to-date road map of the complex interdisciplinary terrain of science and technology studies.

After presenting the broad historical background to the field, the book explores a variety of relevant topics, among them realism and social construction, discourse and rhetoric, objectivity, and the role of experiment and theory. Numerous illustrative examples and empirical studies elucidate such topics as nuclear missile testing, the cold fusion controversy, teaching mathematical physics in the 19th century, digital rights management, pharmaceutical clinical trials, and sick building syndrome. This updated, expanded, and reorganized new edition also now includes new material on political economies of scientific and technological knowledge and the democratization of technical decisions.
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Table of contents

Preface vii
1 The Prehistory of Science and Technology Studies 1


2 The Kuhnian Revolution 12


3 Questioning Functionalism in the Sociology of Science 23


4 Stratification and Discrimination 36


5 The Strong Programme and the Sociology of Knowledge 47


6 The Social Construction of Scientific and Technical Realities 57


7 Feminist Epistemologies of Science 72


8 Actor-Network Theory 81


9 Two Questions Concerning Technology 93


10 Studying Laboratories 106


11 Controversies 120


12 Standardization and Objectivity 136


13 Rhetoric and Discourse 148


14 The Unnaturalness of Science and Technology 157


15 The Public Understanding of Science 168


16 Expertise and Public Participation 180


17 Political Economies of Knowledge 189


References 205


Index 236
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Review quote

Praise for first edition "For an introduction to science and technology studies, one cannot find a better book. Sismondo sets a high standard for clarity of writing for books aimed at university students. The important historical background blends well with the underlying philosophical and sociological concepts. Extremely important to all readers are the boxed-text case studies, definitions, and examples that permeate and intelligently adorn every chapte. The index and references immensely help readers desiring to learn more." (Choice, November 2003) "Carefully argued and well balanced...topics are handled with a clarity and lightness... overall impression...of a field with solid foundations that is looking to the future." (ISIS)
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About Sergio Sismondo

Sergio Sismondo teaches Philosophy and Sociology at Queen's University, Canada. He is the author of
Science Without Myth: On Constructions, Reality, and Social Knowledge (1995),
The Art of Science (with Boris Castel, 2003), and numerous articles on subjects ranging from computer simulation to pharmaceutical research.
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Rating details

67 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 28% (19)
4 48% (32)
3 16% (11)
2 7% (5)
1 0% (0)
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