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The Science Wars: Debating Scientific Knowledge and Technology

The Science Wars: Debating Scientific Knowledge and Technology

Does science provide objective, impartial knowledge about nature and reality, or do social and cultural influences determine its course? Are scientific claims, practices, and theories contrary to religion? From creationists on the right to postmodernists on the left, intellectuals are waging war over the role and future of science in our society.

In SCIENCE WARS editor Keith Parsons presents the best arguments that science critics have presented and the spirited rebuttals offered to counter them. In addition to presenting the conflicting viewpoints of advocates on various sides of the debate, this anthology includes essays that go deeper to discuss the underlying issues. Some conservative thinkers charge that many scientists follow a dogmatic naturalistic philosophy rather than truly objective standards. Sociologists of knowledge claim that scientists “construct” scientific facts rather than “discover” them. And some feminists see patriarchal bias in traditional scientific ideals of method and rationality. In conjuction with a comprehensive overall introduction, Parsons also provides section introductions that outline the specifics of each issue covered. Study questions help readers to gain perspective and examine their own views. Suggestions for additional reading are also provided.

This engaging collection presents a balanced approach to the variety of perspectives offered as society remains intensely engaged in debate over the role that science does and should play in an age when scientific knowledge and discovery are experiencing exponential growth.

Included are selections from such distinguished scholars as Matt Cartmill, Martin Gardner, Paul R. Gross, Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding, Phillip E. Johnson, Robert Klee, Ellen R. Klein, Bruno Latour, Norman Levitt, Robert T. Pennock, Cassandra L. Pinnick, Simon Schaffer, Steven Shapin, Steven Weinberg, and Steve Woolgar.