The world around us has been shaped by science and man’s relationship to it, and in recent years sociologists have been increasingly preoccupied with the latter. In Science in Society, Massimiano Bucchi provides a brief and approachable introduction to this sociological issue.
Without assuming any scientific background, Bucchi provides clear summaries of all the major theoretical positions within the sociology of science, using many fascinating examples to illustrate them. Theories covered include Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific change, the sociology of scientific knowledge, actor-network theory, and the social construction of technology. The second half of the book goes on to look at some recent public controversies over the role of science in the modern world including:
- the Sokal affair, otherwise known as the science wars
- debates over public understanding of science, such as global warming and genetically modified food
- the implications of the human genome project.
This highly readable text will be essential reading for all students studying the sociology of science.
Massimiano Bucchi teaches Sociology of Science in the Faculty of Sociology at the University of Trento, Italy.
“A readable and up-to-date overview, capturing a wide variety of perspectives making up the current wide and diverse field of SSK”, David Mercer, Metascience
“A little gem or classic both for the interested beginner to this subject and for those searching for a solid overview”, Peter Morrell, Electronic Journal of Sociology