Sociology of science

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Sociology of science is the subfield of sociology that deals with the practice of science.

Generally speaking, the sociology of science involves the study of science as a social activity, especially dealing "with the social conditions and effects of science, and with the social structures and processes of scientific activity."[1] It has historically employed a number of methods for doing this. For example, Robert K. Merton, generally considered one of the seminal authors in the sociology of science, used reference to bibliometric information and historical information to develop a thesis about the relationship between the Puritan religion and the scientific revolution in the 18th century. In a later work, he used his experience with scientists and with the history of science to formulate a list of norms which governed conduct within the scientific community. Though both of these approaches have been criticized for various reasons since they were postulated in the late 1930s and early 1940s, they serve as somewhat canonical examples of the sociology of science.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ben-David, Joseph (1975). "Sociology of Science". Annual Review of Sociology. 1: 203–222. Retrieved 2006-11-29. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)

Further reading

  • Matthew David, Science in society, Houndsmall: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005 - ISBN 0333993489 - excellent introduction with case studies

External links

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