SCIENCE IN ACTION: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society by Bruno Latour

SCIENCE IN ACTION: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society

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An attempt to show the scientific method in action by putting it in a social and technical context. Latour believes that if we see the process and the play of various forces on the participants, we will develop a deeper insight into what is happening and look at it as a preeminent human activity. He is not so much interested in who discovered what and when as he is in the approach, mind-set and creativity of the people involved as they struggle, often against great odds, to form concepts and formulate models. He breaks the area down into categories such as scientific literature, labs, science's position in the world and the way in which scientists invent or discover something and the way in which it is accepted. Latour's approach is different and most readers, accustomed to more traditional approaches, will have to adjust to it. However, the angle of vision is winning, and the more sophisticated reader familiar with science and philosophy will find it very worthwhile. There is a wealth of material and some titillating insight into discoveries beginning with the famed race to find the structure of DNA--the double helix--and in Latour's hands, it becomes a true cliffhanger. Not for everyone, but this will reward those who want to probe science and the modern world in depth.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Harvard Univ. Press