Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems
Science is continually confronted by new and difficult social and ethical problems. Some of these problems have arisen from the transformation of the academic science of the prewar period into the industrialized science of the present. Traditional theories of science are now widely recognized as obsolete. In Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems (originally published in 1971), Jerome R. Ravetz analyzes the work of science as the creation and investigation of problems. He demonstrates the role of choice and value judgment, and the inevitability of error, in scientific research. Ravetz’s new introductory essay is a masterful statement of how our understanding of science has evolved over the last two decades.
“Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems is both monumental and remarkable . . . a major contribution to the understanding of science.”—Jonathan Rosenhead, New Scientist and Science Journal
“[T]houghtful, incisive, scholarly, lucid, humane and sane. Everyone—but everyone—within or concerned about science should read it slowly and carefully.”—John Ziman, Nature
“This is a penetrating and novel account of the scientific activity.”—Times Literary Supplement
“Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems, Jerome R. Ravetz’s major contribution to the history and philosophy of science, should be of interest to anyone concerned with change in education.”—Robert McClintock, Teachers College Record
“Scientific Knowledge and Its Social Problems deserves to stand for some time to come as one of the landmarks of the new critical spirit which is transforming science from within in ways whose political and cultural importance cannot be exaggerated.”—Theodore Roszak, The Nation