Science, religion and politics: Robert K. Merton


Robert K. Merton is widely recognized as the founder of the sociology of science. He was the first to reflect on science as an institution and on its relationship with other fields such as politics and religion, as well as author of the first empirical studies of science activity.

This selection of his most influential essays on science – classic referent point at international level – is now available in a new edition. Many of the themes treated in this book have shown an increasing topical interest over time: the relevance of values and standards in scientific enterprise and in its relationship with society; the role of science in democratic societies; dynamics characterizing scientists’ reputation and visibility, also in public life. A classic book to be discovered, full of cues, ideas, and humor.

Robert K. Merton (1910-2003) is one of the greatest social scientists of all time. Il Mulino Publishing House has published his major works in Italian, among which: On the Shoulders of Giants (1991), Social Theory and Social Structure (new edition, 2000) and The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity (2002).

Massimiano Bucchi, professor of Science Technology and Society at the University of Trento, edited the new edition of the volume. His most recent book is Scientisti e antiscientisti. Perché scienza e società non si capiscono (“Scientism and Anti-Scientism: Why Science and Society Don’t Understand Each Other”, il Mulino, 2010).

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