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Science, Culture and Society: Understanding Science in the 21st Century, 2nd Edition



Science, Culture and Society: Understanding Science in the 21st Century, 2nd Edition

Mark Erickson

ISBN: 978-1-509-50325-4 June 2016 Polity 272 Pages


Science occupies an ambiguous space in contemporary society. Scientific research is championed in relation to tackling environmental issues and diseases such as cancer and dementia, and science has made important contributions to today’s knowledge economies and knowledge societies. And yet science is considered by many to be remote, and even dangerous. It seems that as we have more science, we have less understanding of what science actually is.

The new edition of this popular text redresses this knowledge gap and provides a novel framework for making sense of science, particularly in relation to contemporary social issues such as climate change. Using real-world examples, Mark Erickson explores what science is and how it is carried out, what the relationship between science and society is, how science is represented in contemporary culture, and how scientific institutions are structured. Throughout, the book brings together sociology, science and technology studies, cultural studies and philosophy to provide a far-reaching understanding of science and technology in the twenty-first century.

Fully updated and expanded in its second edition, Science, Culture and Society will continue to be key reading on courses across the social sciences and humanities that engage with science in its social and cultural context.
Preface to Second Edition
Chapter 1: Science, Culture and Society
Chapter 2: In the Laboratory
Chapter 3: Scientific Knowledge
Chapter 4: History
Chapter 5: Scientists and Scientific Communities
Chapter 6: Popular Science
Chapter 7: Science Fiction
Chapter 8: Science in a Changing World
- Further development of key theoretical issues, such as Latour on ANT
- Extended discussion of the ‘public face’ of science in terms of popular science, TV productions, and science and religion
- Updated references throughout.
- New and recent examples/case studies added throughout.
"After ten years, Mark Erickson’s Science, Culture and Society remains the best all-round entry point to the world of science and technology studies. It is the one book that I would recommend to a student interested in this field, regardless of starting point the arts, the social sciences or, indeed, the natural sciences. This new edition features a comprehensive account of a molecular biology experiment that is both cutting-edge and characteristic of the world of high stakes research into which we are quickly moving."
Steve Fuller, University of Warwick

"This book gives a masterful account of the key issues in science studies. Erickson has a remarkable ability to translate complex philosophical debates into accessible language, and he is sensitive to the different forms science has assumed. This book is an essential guide to the major debates about science and technology."
Hugh Gusterson, The George Washington University