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By Dominique Vinck

Greater than ever prior to, technology and know-how play an important function in smooth society as evidenced via the improvement of nanotechnologies and the controversies surrounding GMOs and weather swap. This e-book comprehensively explores the flourishing box of technological know-how and expertise reports and examines its construction, improvement and interplay with modern society. Dominique Vinck examines a few of the relationships among technological know-how and society together with the emergence of sciences, the dynamics of innovation and technical democracy. He additionally investigates the imperative social mechanisms of technological know-how and expertise comparable to associations, firms, exchanges among researchers and the development of medical wisdom, services and innovation. The publication offers an intensive review of the sector and reports the main theoretical and methodological methods in addition to the present kingdom of analysis on a variety of themes. This unique e-book will strongly attract scholars and researchers within the social sciences together with economics, the administration of innovation, political technology and the sociology of technological know-how. All these attracted to the talk at the function of technology and expertise in society also will locate this ebook to be of serious curiosity.

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1989), Louis Néel, le magnétisme et Grenoble. Récit de la création d’un empire physicien dans la province française, 1940–1965, Paris: CNRS. Polanyi, M. (1958), Personal Knowledge. Towards a Post-critical Philosophy, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 29 2 The institution of science Historical sociology shows that science is instituted as a relatively autonomous and disengaged social space, dedicated to the production of objective knowledge. It outlines the conditions behind its emergence. Now, we are faced with a peculiar phenomenon: an institution and organisations that sociologists are striving to describe in an effort to understand the way they work.

This humility is expressed in other ways too: scientists may publicly recognise the limits of their own work, underestimate their contributions, or spout a stream of carefully phrased remarks. This can be seen in the work of a philosopher describing the thoughts of his famous patron: ‘all that is interesting and original comes from him. If there are any mistakes, they are mine’ (on the front page of the PhD thesis in theology of Jean-François Malherbe, 1983). The norms of originality and humility create tension within the social structure of science.

Merton completes his analysis of the institution of science with a description of the reward system that backs up the normative structure: a system of social control. Norms are institutionalised because they are associated with the dishing out of rewards or sanctions. Designed to encourage compliance with norms, these rewards are symbolic. They take the form of honorary prizes such as the Nobel Prize or grants for studying, travelling or research. A reward can also be the assigning of an eponym THE INSTITUTION OF SCIENCE associated with a theory (the Mendel laws, the Bernoulli principle, the Gödel theorem and so on), a value (the Avogadro number), a unit of measure (volt, ampere, ohm, angstrom), an object (Halley’s comet), a representation (Bohr’s atom), or recognition of a scientist as ‘the father of .

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