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Newsletter of the Society for Social Studies of Science
Fall 1997, Volume 10, Number 3
Managing Editor: Jongwon Park, Executive Editors: John Hultberg, Merle Jacob


Dear Readers,

As promised in the last issue of Technoscience, we have introduced the first in a series of changes we have planned for making Technoscience an even more indispensable tool of communication for the 4S community. This quarter we have introduced a new column "Fieldnotes" which with your help will become a regular debate piece in the Newsletter. The idea is to invite scholars from within the field of STS to reflect on different aspects of what is happening (or not happening) in the field. We would like emphasis to be placed on issues of both practical and theoretical relevance to the future of the field. The column is intended to be an opinion piece, provocative and challenging the community to push the boundaries a little. As always the ethic of good taste and sound academic conduct are the primary rules of conduct. It is not intended to be an extension of the plenary meetings held at the society's conferences but hopefully a stimulus for future plenaries. This quarter we will introduce the column with Steve Fuller's reflections on text books in STS. Evans and Shackley's report (although a little lengthy) also reflects the spirit of what we hope for the new column.

Our second change is in the nature of a proposal. In taking over the editorship of TECHNOSCIENCE, we have thought about how to make the Newsletter a more efficient source of news. Here, the biggest obstacle is that we are still for the most part tied to a print version. In order to overcome this we propose to regularly update the extant net version of the newsletter on a monthly basis. We think that certain columns such as the 'Employables', News of conferences, positions, etc. would benefit from this more regular revision. The print version would still be the primary vehicle but members could check out the net version between quarters for what's new. We would as always appreciate views, critique either by e mail or when we meet in Tucson.

You can contact us at: John Hultberg, Associate Professor, Center for Higher Education and Research, University College of Health and Caring Sciences, Box 190 95, S-400 12 Gothenburg, Sweden, Tel: 46-31-778-6419, Fax: 46-31-167252 Web: [http://viktor.ufhs.gu.se] E-mail: [john.hultberg@ufhs.gu.se] Merle Jacob, Research Fellow, Department of Theory of Science and Research, Gšteborgs University, Humanisten, 412 98 Gšteborg, SWEDEN, Tel: 46-31-773-4938 Fax: 46-31-773-4723 E-mail: [biosphere@vest.gu.se] Opinion pieces, conference reports, ideas for debates, and critical commentaries should be sent to us directly.

More routine announcements should be sent to Jongwon Park, School of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA 30332-0345, USA. Tel: 404-894-6841 Fax:404-894-0535.

<Please note the change of e-mail address>

New E-Mail: Technoscience@mgt-sun2.iac.gatech.edu

As you will see on the back of this issue, it is now possible for non-US residents with a VISA credit card to apply for membership to 4S by e-mail. It is also the address that members generally should use to make inquiries about their subscriptions: [acadsvc@aol.com]. Subscribers to 4S automatically receive Technoscience (3/yr) and the society journal, Science, Technology & Human Values (4/yr).

To find out the latest on the burning issues and breaking news in the world of science studies, subscribe to the sci-tech-studies network. To do so, send a message of 'subscribe sts YOURNAME' to [mailserv@cctr.umkc.edu]. To send a message to the network, post it to [sts@cctr.umkc.edu].

Readers of Technoscience are hereby permitted to reprint any articles in this (and other issues) for educational purposes.


Annual Meeting, OCTOBER 23 - 26, 1997
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona

The 1997 Society for Social Studies of Science annual meeting, to be held in Tucson, Arizona October 22-26, 1997, is approaching quickly. An updated program, additional conference information, and registration information is available at the conference website: [http://www.u.arizona.edu/~jlc] We will be making abstracts available on-line. We are still looking for discussants for various sessions, and would like to encourage members of the STS communities planning to attend to register early for the meeting. If you have any questions about the program or registration, please contact : Jennifer L. Croissant, Program on Culture, Science, Technology, and Society, CSTS/MSE, 16c Bldg. 12, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721. 520-626-7110 (phone) 520-621-8059 (fax) [jlc@u.arizona.edu]


ST&HV Editor, Persons and departments interested in editing SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND HUMAN VALUES, the journal of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), should submit their prospectuses and credentials to Rachelle Hollander, Chair, 4S Publications Committee, by September 15, 1997. Her address is Room 995, NSF, 4201 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22230. The term would begin with the 1999 volume; the editorship has an official term of five years (renewable). The Publications Committee is planning to meet and consider applications at the 4S annual meeting this October. ST&HV is published by Sage Periodicals Press; the current editor is Olga Amsterdamska, University of Amsterdam. The banner of the journal reads: "Science, Technology and Human Values is an international, multidisciplinary journal containing research and commentary on the development and dynamics of science and technology, including their involvement in politics, society, and culture. As the official journal of the Society for Social Studies of Science, [it] exists to foster the development of the field of science and technology studies." The editor of the Journal solicits manuscripts, arranges for their review, and makes final determination as to suitability for publication. Around 80 submissions are expected each year, and the success ratio is around 25%-30%. The editor also works with a group of contributing editors and an editorial advisory board of set terms, and is responsible for nominating replacements to the 4S Publications Committee. The editor reports on the status of the journal to the Publications Committee at the annual meetings each year. The ideal candidate is active in the field, with breadth and sensitivity to the alternate points of view within it, and with appropriate institutional support. For further information, contact the current editor, Olga Amsterdamska, at the University of Amsterdam [amsterdamska@chem.uva.nl] or the secretary of the society, Wesley Shrum [sowesl@unix1.sncc.lsu.edu], or any member of the publications committee: Michel Callon [callon@csi.ensmp.fr], Rachelle Hollander [rholland@nsf.gov], Linda Layne [linda_layne@mts.rpi.edu], Michael Lynch [michael.lynch@brunel.ac.uk], Nelly Oudshoorn [n.e.j.oudshoorn@wmw.utwente.nl], Sal Restivo [restis@rpi.edu], or Judy Wajcman [judyw@coombs.anu.edu.au ]


James H. Collier -- Ph.D. Science and Technology Studies, (anticipated (5/98), M.A. Science and Technology Studies (1993), M.A. English (1987), B.A. Philosophy (1983), Virginia Tech. Research interests - epistemology, conceptual change, scientific and technical communication, sociology of scientific knowledge, and rhetoric of science. Dissertation: "The Nature of Meta-Scientific Knowledge Claims: Toward a Philosophy of Science and Technology Studies"; Chair: Joseph C. Pitt. Main Publication: Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy (Sage, 1997). Teaching experience: Part-Time Instructor, Technical Writing (internet based), 1993 - currently, 1989-1991, Virginia Tech. Instructor, Composition, 1987-1989, Virginia Commonwealth University. Graduate Teaching Assistant, Composition, 1985-1987, Virginia Tech. Related Positions: Head, Communications and Technical Writing Program, NSF Summer Undergraduate Research Program, Virginia Tech (summers since 1995 ), Consultant, Writing Across the Curriculum Program, Virginia Tech (1994-1995). Related Skills: Proficient use of web-design tools, classroom-based computer assisted teaching, and novice use of JAVA. Journals: Editorial Consultant, Social Epistemology. Contact: English Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0112. Phone: (540) 231-8445. E-mail: [jacollie@vt.edu] [http://www.cyber.vt.edu/jhc/]


1998 AAAS Annual Meeting and Science Innovation Exposition, Exploring Frontiers - Expanding Opportunities. Call for Contributed Poster Papers, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Marriott. 12-17 February 1998 -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 164th national meeting of AAAS will bring together more than 5,000 scientists, educators, policy-makers, and researchers in a multi-disciplinary forum to share the latest research advances. The 1998 AAAS Annual Meeting and Science Innovation Exposition will feature more that 160 scientific symposia; specialized seminars; topical, plenary, and award lectures; poster sessions; an exhibition hall; field trips; career workshops; and a bio-Science career fair. The poster sessions are an important way for individuals to participate at the AAAS meeting. Instructions for Submitters. Deadline: Wednesday, October 15, 1997. AAAS Meetings Office, 1200, New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005, Phone: (202)326-6450 FAX: (202)289-4021 E-mail: [confinfo@aaas.org]

The Thirty-first Annual Texas Tech University Comparative Literature Symposium, "Webs of Discourse: The Intertextuality of Science Studies," will meet on February 5-7, 1998. Plenary speakers are Donna Haraway, Lynn Randolph, Marcos Novak, and Carl Rubino. Is a comprehensive synthesis of science studies across the discursive disciplines possible? What roles will the Web and other interactive technologies play? We invite discussion of these and related issues by scholars working in any area of cultural science studies, as well as by rhetoricians, critical theorists, and literature scholars. Send 1-2 pp. abstracts by September 30, 1997, to Bruce Clarke, e-mail: [bruno@ttu.edu], or Department of English, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-3091.

The Future Location of Research : A Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations II. Theme paper, New York City, 7- 10 January 1998. As the university crosses traditional boundaries in developing new linkages to industry, it must devise formats to make its multiple purposes compatible with each other. This conference follows a first meeting in Amsterdam at which the Triple Helix model was discussed with a group of researchers from thirty countries (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff 1997). Now we propose to extend the model to address policy issues, and to discuss its relationship to the relevant theoretical perspectives of economics, engineering, and science studies. The discussion will also include practitioners and policy analysts from these three spheres. We propose to commission a series of orienting papers as the basis for discussion. These will provide the basis of a volume of proceedings. Additionally, some of the papers submitted will be selected for a more specialized book. The conference itself is composed of plenary sessions, submitted paper sessions, and workshops. Additionally, panels of practitioners will be constituted from organizations like the European Union, state and regional organizations in the U.S., relevant industries, and spin-off companies. For more information, contact: Henry Etzkowitz, Science Policy Institute, State University of New York, Purchase, NY 10577, USA; e-mail: [spi@interport.net] Loet Leydesdorff, Science & Technology Dynamics, Nieuwe Achtergracht, 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam, The Netherlands; e-mail: [l.leydesdorff@mail.uva.nl]

International Conference: SCIENCE & SOCIETY - TECHNOLOGICAL TURN. Tokyo, Kyoto & Hiroshima, Japan, March 16-22, 1988. The world is changing radically by virtue of technological transformation. Not only the production system and economic structure, but also our daily life and value system are now subjected to the fundamental transformation. Although science is regarded as the backbone of technological society, public understanding of scientific knowledge is seriously questioned. We believe it is time to examine the reality and the problems raised by undergoing technological change. Our Conference "Science and Society--Technological Turn" is aimed at providing a wider international forum to discuss this issue for those who are interested in research and education on Science, Technology and Society (STS). AMONG INVITED SPEAKERS: Michel Callon, Sheila Jasanoff, Deepak Kumar, Morris Low, Brian Martin, Arie Rip, Rustum Roy, Song Sang-Yong, Peter Weingart, Robert Yager, Loet Leydesdorff, Steve Fuller, Londa Schiebinger, Roger Posadas. If you intend to present papers or to have poster sessions, please contact conference office below. According to the abstracts on the application form, the organizing committee will select about 250 speakers. Main Office: BILINGUAL GROUP Ltd. 4-7-22-2F, Kudan-minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102, Japan E-mail: [jdn00050@niftyserve.or.jp] Tel: +81-3-3263-1261 Fax: +81-3-3263-1264, Sub Office: c/o Prof.Shin-ichi Kobayashi, University of Electro-communications,1-5-1, Chofugaoka, Chofu City, Tokyo 182, Japan. E-mail: [sts@kob.is.uec.ac.jp] Fax: +81-424-85-9843, [http://hostcinf.shinshu-u.ac.jp/stsconfjp.html]

The Journal of Medical Humanities is now seeking CULTURAL STUDIES manuscripts that reflect its enlarged focus on multidisciplinary inquiry into medicine and health care. Articles may come from a wide variety of disciplines and interdisciplinary activity -- e.g. humanities, feminism, African studies, media studies, cultural studies of science, sociology, anthropology, and popular culture -- which can be used to examine the practice of medicine and medical education with a special focus on relations of power. Send inquiries to: Brad Lewis, Cultural Studies Editor, University of Pittsburgh, Cultural Studies Program, WPIC, 1835 Center Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15219, E-mail: [lewisbe@msx.upmc.edu] Manuscripts should be typed, double spaced, on one side of the page, and submitted in triplicate (original and two copies) to the Editor: Dr. Delese Wear, Journal of Medical Humanities, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, 4209 State Route 44, P.O. Box 95, Rootstown, Ohio 44272. Manuscript should be 15-20 pages (occasionally, longer manuscripts are accepted). An abstract of no more than 100 words should accompany the manuscript. References should be cited and listed following the style used by either the American Psychological Association, 4th edition, or the Chicago Manual of Style (the author-date system rather than footnotes).

Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences is a new journal whose first issue will be published at the beginning of 1998. The journal will be devoted to historical, sociological, philosophical and ethical aspects of the life and environmental sciences, of the sciences of mind and behaviour, and of the medical and biomedical sciences and technologies. The period covered will be from the middle of the nineteenth century (the time of the so-called "laboratory revolution" in medicine and the life sciences) to the present. Contributions and proposals should be sent to Dr Marina Frasca-Spada, Associate Editor, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RH, U.K., E mail<mfs10@cam.ac.uk>.


The History of Philosophy of Science Working Group will hold its second conference on March 12-15 1998. This meeting is organized in cooperation with the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame. The conference will be open to work from all approaches in science studies that focus upon the history of philosophy of science. Guidelines for Submissions: Submissions of abstracts of papers of approximately 30 minutes' reading length, and of full panels of three to four papers will be considered for the program. Abstracts of individual paper submissions should be between 250 and 500 words in length. Panel proposals should include one panel abstract, names and contact addresses of all participants, and abstracts of 250 words for each of three to four papers. All submissions should arrive by 1 September 1997. Acknowledgment will be sent by 1 October. Notification of acceptance of submissions will be provided by 1 November. Preferred format for all submissions is plain ASCII text submitted by electronic mail to James Maffie with "HOPOS Submission" in the subject line of the email. Other submissions should include three paper copies and one copy in plain ASCII format on a 3.5" DOS diskette and be sent to: James Maffie, 3280 Sentinel Drive, Boulder, CO 80301-5498. Registration: HOPOS '98 Conference, Mrs. Harriet Baldwin,, Center for Continuing Education, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 [Harriet.E.Baldwin.1@nd.edu]

The 1997 History of Science Society Annual Meeting will be held 6-9 November at the beautiful La Jolla Hyatt Regency in San Diego, California. For more information, contact program chairs: Bruce W. Hevly, University of Washington [bhevly@u.washington.edu] Margaret Schabas, York University, [Canada schabas@yorku.ca] Deborah Day, of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography Archives, and Robert Westman, of the University of California at San Diego, will serve as this year's local arrangements chairs.

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite, which was launched on 4 October 1957. The NASA History Office, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and George Washington University's Space Policy Institute are pleased to co-sponsor "Reconsidering Sputnik: Forty Years Since the Soviet Satellite," a two day symposium analyzing the importance of this event. This symposium is set to take place in the Smithsonian's Ripley Center on 30 September-1 October 1997. It will explore the preparations, immediate ramifications, and long term consequences of Sputnik on American and Soviet societies and space programs. For more information, contact: Roger D. Launius, NASA Chief Historian, Code ZH, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546; Fax: 202/358-0383; E-mail: [roger.launius@hq.nasa.gov]

The Department of History and the Program in the History of Science at Princeton University will host a Graduate Student Conference titled "Casualties of History: Losers, the Lost, and the Problem of Defeat" on October 4-5, 1997. Keynote Speakers include Joan Wallach Scott, Author of Gender and the Politics of History, (1988) and Gerald L. Geison, Author of The Private Science of Louis Pasteur, (1995). For more information, contact: Graduate Conference, Dept of History, 207 Dickinson Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544.

The Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) will hold its twenty-ninth annual conference in Chicago on September 25-28, 1997. The conference theme, "Less is More," focuses on the concept of doing more in the field of preservation technology with less. For information, contact: Deborah Slaton, APT97 Conference Chair, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., 330 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, IL 60062; Tel: 847/272-7400; Fax: 847-291-9919; E-mail: [djs@wje.com]

"Boys and Their Toys?" Masculinity, Technology, and Work, a conference hosted by The Hagley Museum and Library on Friday October 3, 1997. Speakers include Stephen Meyer, Steven Gelber and Gary Cross. For more information, contact: The Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, Hagley Museum and Library, PO Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807; Tel: 302-658-2400; E-mail: [crl@udel.edu]

The Society for the History of Technology will be meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Pasadena, California from 16-19 October 1997. The hosts for the meeting are the Huntington Library and the Science, Technology, and Society Program at the Claremont Colleges. Meeting information is located on a World Wide Web page set up at the Huntington Library site [http://www.huntington.org/LibraryDiv/shot97.htm]

Conference co-sponsored by the Society for the Social History of Medicine and the British Society for the History of Science "The Meanings of Practice: Historical and Sociological Perspectives on the Practices of Science, Technology and Medicine" Manchester Friday, November 14, 1997. For more information, contact: Paolo Palladino, Dept of History, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YG, United Kingdom, W (01524) 592 793, [P.Palladino@Lancaster. ac.uk]

Philosophy of Science Association, Sixteenth-Biennial Meeting, Kansas City 21-25 October 1998. For more information, contact: Don Howard, Chair, PSA 1998 Program Committee History and Philosophy of Science, 346 O'Shaughnessy, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, Tel. 219-631-5015, Fax: 219-631-8209, [Don.A.Howard.43@nd.edu]

Society for Literature and Science, Annual Conference, Mariott Hotel, Pittsburgh City Center Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania October 30 - November 2, 1997; Program Committee Co-Chairs: Susan Squier, Penn State University; Richard Nash, University of Indiana [nash@ucs.indiana.edu]


James S. McDonnell Centennial Fellowships. The James S. McDonnell Foundation will award up to ten (10) $1,000,000 research fellowships to early career scientists and scholars. The fellowships will be awarded across five areas: Astrophysics and Cosmology, Human Cognition, Global and Complex Systems, Human Genetics, History and Philosophy of Science. Applications are due December 15, 1997. All information and guidelines are available at [http://www.jsmf.org, www.jsmf.org], or can be obtained via e-mail by contacting centennial@jsmf.org, or by writing: Centennial Fellowship Program James S. McDonnell Foundation 1034 South Brentwood Blvd., Suite 1850 Saint Louis, MO 63117.

The American Philosophical Society General Research Grants. The American Philosophical Society makes grants towards the cost of scholarly research in many areas of knowledge. Grants cover travel to the objects of research, purchase or photoreproductions of documents, and consumable professional supplies not available at the applicant's institution. Applicants are expected to have held the doctorate for at least one year. Foreign nationals applying from abroad must state precisely what objects or research, ONLY available in the United States, need to be consulted. The maximum award is $6,000. The deadline for applications are October 1 (for decision by mid-January); December 1 (for decision by mid-March). Application forms can only be obtained via written requests. The request should indicate the applicant's eligibility, specific area of research, and state the proposed use of funds. Include a self-addressed mailing label. Telephone requests will not be honored. Write to: Committee on Research American Philosophical Society 104 S. 5th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106-3387 Questions concerning the applicability of a project or applicant are accepted at 215-440-3429 (M,T,TH,F 9-5,W 9-1) or via email to [eroach@amphilsoc.org].

The American Philosophical Society John Clarke Slater Fellowship. The American Philosophical Society invites applications for the John Clarke Slater Fellowship to support doctoral dissertation research in the history of the twentieth-century physical sciences. The Fellowship is open both to candidates for the doctorate in the United States, and to those in universities abroad who propose to spend the fellowship year in association with an American university or other appropriate American research institution. In order to be eligible, a candidate must have passed all preliminary examinations or the equivalent, and the dissertation topic must focus on the history of the physical sciences in the twentieth century. The Slater Fellowship carries a stipend of $12,000. Tenure of the fellowship usually coincides with the academic year, though it may begin as early as July 1. The Deadline for applications is December 1, 1997. Written requests for the application materials must indicate eligibility of both the applicant and the project. Requests by telephone cannot be honored. Include a self-addressed mailing label. Slater Fellowship, American Philosophical Society, 104 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Post Doctoral Fellowships at Columbia University. The Columbia Society of Fellows in the Humanities, with grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the William R. Kenan Trust, and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, will appoint a number of post-doctoral fellows in the humanities for the academic year 1998-99. Fellows newly appointed for 1998-99 must have received the Ph.D. between January 1, 1992 and July 1, 1998. The stipend will be $30,000, one half for independent research and one half for teaching in the undergraduate program in general education. An additional $1,000 is available to support research. Applications forms can be obtained by writing tot he Director, Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Mail Code 5700, Columbia University, 2960 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Deadline for receipt of completed application is October 15, 1997.

Postdoctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. Postdoctoral fellowships in history of science and philosophy of science, definite, one year only, beginning fall, 1998. Indicate interest in either history of science or philosophy of science. $25,000 plus benefits. EO/AAE. Send complete dossier, including statement of proposed research, to: David L. Hull, Department of Philosophy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208. Deadline for Application is December 15, 1997.

Rice University-Postdoctoral Fellowship Center for the Study of Science and Technology. The Center for the Study of Science and Technology at Rice University announces a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in history/philosophy/sociology of recent science or technology. Besides pursuing his/her own research, the Fellow will be expected initially to teach one course per semester in an experimental program to develop courses for majors in the Humanities and Social Sciences that fulfill Science distribution requirements. In the second and third years a third course in the Fellow's specialty will be added. The Fellow will be appointed in the appropriate department in the School of Science or Engineering and be a member of the Center for the Study of Science and Technology. Candidates should have received the Ph. D. very recently or expect it by the summer of 1998. Applicants should send a description of their research, proposals for courses, a c.v., three letters of recommendation, evidence of successful teaching should be provided where available, and a chapter of their dissertation by 1 November to: Albert Van Helden Department of History Rice University 6100 Main Street Houston, TX 77005-1892.

The National Humanities Center announces its 1998-99 fellowship competition. Each year the Center awards approximately thirty fellowships to scholars of demonstrated achievement and to promising younger scholars. Applicants must hold a doctorate or have equivalent professional accomplishments. For application material, write to: Fellowship Program, National Humanities Center, P.O. Box 12256, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2256. Applicants submit the Center's forms supported by a curriculum vitae, a 1000-word project proposal, and three letters of recommendation. Applications and letters of recommendation must be postmarked by October 15, 1997.

Rockefeller Archive Center Grants. The Rockefeller Archive Center, a division of The Rockefeller University, invites applications for its program of Grants for Travel and Research at the Rockefeller Archive Center for 1998. The competitive program makes grants of up to $1,500 to US and Canadian researchers and up to $2,000 to researchers from abroad in any discipline, usually graduate students or

post-doctoral scholars, who are engaged in research that requires use of the collections at the Center. The Rockefeller Archive Center collections include the records of the Rockefeller family, The Rockefeller University, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other philanthropies and associated individuals. In 1998 and 1999 the Rockefeller Archive Center will also have a substantial program of grants for supporting research on the history of Rockefeller University. These will include two one-month residencies at the Center with stipends of $5,000 each. The deadline for all grant applications is November 30, 1997; grant recipients will be announced in March 1998. Inquiries about the program and requests for applications should be addressed to Darwin H. Stapleton, Director, Rockefeller Archive Center, 15 Dayton Avenue, Pocantico Hills, Sleepy Hollow, New York 10591-1598. The grant application along with detailed information about the Rockefeller Archive Center and a guide to its collections can also be found on the World Wide Web at [http://www.rockefeller.edu/archive.ctr/]

The Chemical Heritage Foundation offers small travel grants to enable interested individuals to make use of the research resources of the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, the Othmer Library of Chemical History, and its associated facilities. Grants, which may be used for travel, subsistence, and copying costs, will not normally exceed $500. Applicants should include a vita, a one-paragraph statement on the research proposed, a budget, and the addresses and telephone numbers of two references. Deadlines are 1 February for grants to be used April-June; 1 May for July-September, 1 August for October-December; and 1 November for January-March. Applications should be sent to Leo Slater, Program Manager of Historical Services, Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

Applications are invited from established scholars for the 1998-99 Edelstein International Fellowship in the History of the Chemical Sciences and Technologies. The Edelstein Fellow will divide his/her time between residency at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) in Philadelphia and the Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Jerusalem. The resources of the Edelstein Library, especially strong in all aspects of chemical history, will be available to the fellow in Jerusalem. Philadelphia resources include CHF's Othmer Library of Chemical History and the Edgar Fahs Smith Collection at the University of Pennsylvania. The major portion of the fellow's time will be devoted to research, but the individual will also contribute to the work of each institution in an appropriate manner. The period for the Fellowship, which may be held in conjunction with other research or sabbatical support, is 1 September 1998 to 30 June 1999. A travel allowance is also available. Letter of applications should indicate how CHF and Edelstein Collection resources in the chemical sciences are relevant to the applicant's research. Applicants should also enclose a financial statement, a curriculum vitae, and three references. Applications must be submitted by November 15, 1997 to Professor Seymour Mauskopf, Coordinator, Edelstein International Awards, Department of History, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708; phone (919) 684-2581; fax (919) 681-7670; e-mail [shmaus@acpub.duke.edu]

The Loka Institute has an opening for one full-time, paid student intern (or a full-time work-study student) for the fall of 1997. We also have openings for volunteer interns. The Loka Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making science and technology more responsive to democratically decided social and environmental concerns. Activities of the interns will involve assisting us in the management of the Community Research Network as we design and publicize the Community Research Network Database, conduct outreach to community researchers nationally and internationally, and work with community organizers and grassroots organizations wanting to connect with community researchers. Interns will also be very involved in the activities of a growing non-profit organization which vary from project development and management to fundraising, managing our Internet lists, Web page updates, helping with clerical and other office work, etc. Applicants for this position should be comfortable reading and analyzing written materials, conducting phone interviews, and synthesizing diverse materials into lucid and engaging written reports. Self-motivation, a high level of personal responsibility (i.e., the ability to start a task and see it through to completion), and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently are all vital skills for this internship. Knowledge of computers and the Internet is also helpful. If you are interested in working with us, please send a hard copy resume, along with a succinct letter explaining your interest to: The Loka Institute, P.O. Box 355, Amherst, MA 01004, USA. For more information about the Loka Institute visit our Web page [http://www.amherst.edu/~loka] or call us at (413) 582-5860.


The National Science Foundation is seeking applicants for appointment as Program Director for the Science and Technology Studies (STS) program, to begin preferably in August 1998. The position is a rotational one, carrying an initial one-year appointment, normally renewable for up to two years or more.

The Program Director for Science and Technology Studies represents STS to colleagues in the NSF and other Federal science agencies and to the Administration. He or she is responsible for all aspects of program administration and development in this substantive field, that encompasses history, philosophy, and social science studies of science, engineering and technology. The Program Director administers the review of research proposals submitted to NSF in this field and is responsible for recommending and documenting actions on the proposals reviewed, for dealing with administrative matters relating to active NSF grants, and for maintaining regular contact with the relevant research communities and providing advice and consultation to persons requesting them.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, and must be active in research in some area covered by the program. While the Foundation is interested in individuals with research interests in the environment and global change or innovation and society, these are not essential. Six or more years of research experience beyond the Ph.D. is desirable for appointment as Program Director. Salary is negotiable, and is comparable with academic salaries at major US institutions.

The National Science Foundation is located in Arlington, Virginia, immediately across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. The metropolitan Washington area, besides being the seat of the U.S. Government, is noted as a cultural center and as a growing center of high-tech industry. A wide variety of types of housing is available within close proximity to the NSF offices.

Please direct inquiries and expressions of interest to: Mr. William P. Butz, Director of the Division of Social, Behavioral and Economic Research, phone: (703) 306-1760; e-mail: wbutz@nsf.gov; Dr. Edward J. Hackett, Program Director, Science and Technology Studies, phone: (703) 306-1742, e-mail: ehackett@nsf.gov; or Dr. Rachelle D. Hollander, coordinator of the cluster housing the STS program, phone: (703) 306-1743, or e-mail: rholland@nsf.gov. All are located in Suite 995, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230, fax: (703) 306-0485.

Qualified persons who are women, ethnic/racial minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. The National Science Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to employing highly qualified staff that reflects the diversity of our nation.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway Centre for Women's Research, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR IN GENDER ASPECTS OF THE SCIENCES. Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), announces the following vacant adjunct professorship in gender aspects of the sciences. The position is based in the Centre for Women's Research, NTNU. Adjunct professorships are remunerated at 20% of a full-time position. Further details about the Professorship can be obtained from professor Kari Melby, tel. +47 73 59 17 28 or senior administrator Agnes Bols¿, tel. +47 73 59 17 27, or by Email: [karhei@sts.ntnu.no] Applications are to be sent to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Personnel Department, 7034 Trondheim. The application deadline is 15th Oct. 1997. The file number for the position 16/97 is to be clearly stated on the application.



New discussion list for Philosophy of Chemistry in association with International Society for Philosophy of Chemistry (ISPC). This list is operated by Davis Baird at the University of South Carolina. To subscribe send message to: listserv@vm.sc.edu Your first message should be just, subscribe philchem your name

On-Line Resources

The American Council on Learned Societies has just announced that its recently published Occasional Paper No. 37, "Information Technology in Humanities Scholarship: Achievements, Prospects, and Challenges--The United States Focus" by Pamela Pavliscak, Seamus Ross, and Charles Henry, is now available on-line in a hypertext version at [http://www.acls.org/op37.htm] A quote from its Preface reads: "This report surveys the various applications of information technology to research in the humanities. In the course of our investigations we came across a variety of innovative research that could have a profound impact on the humanities.. However, the incidence of such work is uneven, and the widespread adoption of information technology in the humanities is being hindered by a number of significant obstacles. We also examine the challenges that must be overcome if such applications are to become the norm among scholars." The report comprises five sections. I: A Background essay. II: information Technology and Scholarship--a survey of work and achievements in a variety of media (text, data, images, multimedia), an examination of retroconversion projects and of the creation of original works, electronic publication and a look at available tools for scholars. III: New Developments and Change. IV: To Challenge and Invigorate Future Scholarship--a look at what is needed to fully prepare faculty, researchers and institutions to take full advantage of the electronic medium. V: Principal Recommendations and Follow-up Activities. The report concludes with a useful list of links to exemplary projects and services [http://www.acls.org/op37-app.htm] An expanded version of this report will be available later this year on the American Arts & Letters Network [http://www.rice.edu/aaln/] David L. Green, Executive Director, National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage, 21 Dupont Circle, NW, Washington DC 20036, [www-ninch..cni.org] [david@cni.org] Tel: 202/296-5346, Fax: 202/872-0886

Lawrence Busch would like to bring to readers' attention a relatively new journal that readers may wish to read and/or publish in: Science Tribune is a FREE journal that publishes interdisciplinary research that cuts across conventional boundaries. The range of articles is rather broad--from the history of salt to medical research. The url is: [http://www.iway.fr/sc/tribune/homepage.htm] Lawrence Busch, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. Tel.: 1-517-355-3396 FAX: 1-517-432-2856 Email: [lawrence.busch@ssc.msu.edu] [http://www.msu.edu/user/buschll/]


The Center for the Study of Science in Society and the Science and Technology Studies Graduate Program at Virginia Tech are pleased to announce that Gary Downey has been selected to serve as the new director of both the Center and the STS Program. The STS Program is run jointly by Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Science in Society and the Departments of History, Philosophy, and Sociology. The STS program offers both the Masters and the Ph.D. degrees in Blacksburg, VA and the Masters degree (with special arrangements for doctoral students) in Falls Church, Virginia. For further information, please consult our web page at [http://www.cis.vt.edu/vtstshome.html] or send a letter of inquiry to Professor Downey at the Center for the Study of Science in Society, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0227. Submitted by Richard Burian, retiring director of CSSS and STS, Professor of Philosophy and Science Studies Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA 24061-0227 [rmburian@vt.edu]

The Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of a new editor, John C. Burnham, professor of history and psychiatry at The Ohio State University. The Journal is now published by John Wiley & Sons of New York, publishers of more than 300 technical and professional journals. Barbara Ross, who edited the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences for more than twenty years, becomes editor emerita, and the Journal, which has been the premier peer-reviewed publication in its field for more than thirty years, will continue without change in policy, welcoming manuscripts on all aspects of the history of the behavioral and social sciences and carrying the stimulating book review section for which it is so well known. The board of editors is drawn from outstanding scholars all over the world, and Professor Burnham, distinguished for his many publications in the history of psychiatry, psychology, and sociology, will continue the international leadership that has brought the journal subscribers in more than sixty countries. Subscription is available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012. The editorial office address is John C. Burnham, Ph.D., Department of History, Ohio State University, 230 West 17th Street, Columbus, OH 43210-1367, [e-mail: burnham.2@osu.edu]


ESRC Workshop - 10-11 April 1997
The Use of Models in Policy Making: Towards a Comparison and Evaluation of Experiences

On the 10-11 April, the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC) at Lancaster University hosted an ESRC funded workshop on The Use of Models in Policy Making: Towards a Comparison and Evaluation of Experience. The workshop itself had been prompted by the increasing use of numerical models in policy making arenas, particularly economic and environmental. The 'problem' to be addressed was not the use of models as such, but rather how to assess their trustworthiness. The workshop organisers approached this question by looking across a range of modeling disciplines for shared experiences and concerns and to explicate some of the criteria used by modellers to assess and evaluate each other's work. The principal aims of the workshop were thus to facilitate this new dialogue, to promote some critical reflection on the part of practitioners, policy makers and social scientists and to formulate some provisional 'best-practice' guidelines which might better frame the science-policy interface.

In practical terms, what happened was that a series of speakers outlined their own experiences and practices and lively discussions invariably ensued. For example, Terry Barker (Applied Economics, University of Cambridge) outlined 6 criteria which might be used for evaluating models used in economic assessment of climate change. These ranged from the under-lying theories, through the data and assumptions used, to the sources of funding and the vested interests such a model might be supporting. Paul Tayler (Coopers and Lybrand) entertained with suitably anonymised anecdotes from the worlds of business and commerce and, importantly, began to unpack some of the different ways in which models can be used such as forecasting, education, persuasion and consensus building. Mike Hulme (Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia) compared the histories of four climate change models and highlighted the importance of 'advocates' in 'building reputations' as well as emphasizing the inertia that certain models can acquire in research and policy. This question was also raised by Tom Downing (Environmental Change Unit, Oxford University), who suggested that one consequence of using models was that they tend to institutionalize particular policy definitions, repertoires and discourses. Other speakers (e.g. Roger Mackett, Centre for Transport Studies, University College London) reinforced the importance of the role of models in framing policy debates and the adequacy of particular knowledge with a rich account of transport models and their policy use in the UK. Despite largely negative appraisals over the last few decades, these models have continued to be used, for reasons that included the influence of key decision makers in the Department of Transport, and their closeness with elements of the transport research community. This last example begs for further research by sociologists, especially given the size and nature of the investment decisions which transport models have influenced.

More generally, and perhaps surprisingly, it was clear that all the modellers present did have something to say to one another - especially about methodology, the role of theory, uncertainty, confirmation, reliability and so on. In fact, nearly everyone agreed that most of the issues surrounding validation, model credibility, 'good practice', the appropriate role of users and so on had all been mentioned and discussed over the last 20 years or so. However, whether or not they had been acted upon by the modeling communities was far less clear, with many present suggesting that such 'trust' and quality issues had been wheeled-out as rhetoric without being accompanied by real substantive efforts.

So, some disciplinary divides were bridged and, to that extent the workshop was a success. However, there was one important disciplinary divide which was not bridged and that was the one between the sociologists and the modellers. The sociologists present were almost in 'awe' of the babble of interdisciplinary voices that flowed, effortlessly it seemed, from econometric to climate models, from uncertainty analysis to the implicit social and policy role of models. Of course, bridging between modellers and sociologists is not automatically desirable. Perhaps sociologists should not worry too much about what modellers think they are doing and concentrate instead on the practices of modeling and its effects. And perhaps modellers at their computer screens are, like Collins' scientists at the laboratory bench, better off being blissfully unaware of SSK. Do we, by letting on to modellers what we know about their work (no matter how well referenced, referred and scholarly it may be) risk extending the 'Science Wars' into the 'Sim Wars'? At debate here are epistemological and political issues, including whether and how simulation modeling as a form of scientific practice is different from laboratory experimentation. It may be that the claims made by scientists for knowledge derived from simulation modeling are weaker than for experimental knowledge, hence the public face of such modeling science is more one of uncertainty and conditionality. Nevertheless the political desirability for sociology to meet modeling emerges from the role of such forms of formal quantified knowledge-claims in significant policy arenas as indicated above. In such circumstances, do not SSKers have some expertise of their own to contribute, and if so, what should it be? In this more positive role, several options are possible and role models exist in the work of Harry Collins, Brian Wynne, Sheila Jasanoff, Brian Martin, Evelleen Richards to name just a few. 1 However, despite both these precedents and rationales, the SSKers present at the workshop were surprisingly quiet.

One example of what the sociologists present might have said, but did not, derives from the very issue which prompted the workshop: the way in which models are used to support policy, so they become more 'sophisticated' but also, at the same time, more 'specialized', more 'intangible' and in many cases, less 'persuasive'. Thus, initial 'strong' claims about the world are subsequently deconstructed in social, political and scientific debates, and models are refined, augmented, adjusted and revised.2 Theories and forecasts are translated into heuristics and first approximations, and a greater emphasis is placed on the uncertainties and assumptions which accompany the model.

A typical sociological account would suggest that this process occurs as models are constructed through their interaction with quite different and specific social worlds. Thus, some user communities appear to require large and complex models, aimed at representing as near as possible 'reality', even if they are rather cumbersome and inflexible when it comes to addressing specific policy questions. In such communities the importance of the model may lie less in its instrumental utility, and more in its symbolic effects - perhaps in creating or sustaining a discursive arena. This certainly seems to be the case for both complex climate models and econometric models. A fascinating paradox is the patina of instrumentalism and quantification which frequently accompanies the more symbolic identity of the model (one which may perhaps be interpreted through Ezrahi's analysis of the role of instrumentalism in public accountability).

Other user communities clearly do not require the symbolic authority of a complex model. This seems to be the case in more private contexts, particularly in the commercial sector where use of models appears to be much more clearly instrumental: the persuasiveness of specific numerical outcomes to very specific users and customers is what matters here. Such business users are not overly concerned about 'research' per se, and their own modellers are much less part of, or constrained by, the peer community than in publicly-funded research domains. Hence, their identity as the 'expert' goes relatively uncontested.

This commercial setting is thus very different to the case of climate and econometric models where 'users' are much less clearly defined and diverse and the character of the 'use' of models is much less obvious. Furthermore, in climate and economics, the political context is much more out in the open and subject to the dynamics of a public debate between political actors and 'stakeholders', at the national and even international levels. Perhaps in such a less controlled and more open context, a complex representational model is required as an authoritative way of anchoring the messy and (in the case of global environmental change) emergent debate? By contrast, in business use expertise appears to be much more privatized and the modeller not subject to the same level of critical scrutiny: a relatively simple model and its output may be a sufficient basis for producing consensus in that particular, more closed, discursive arena.

There is an additional question here about the role of models in frameworks of accountability. The business world may rely much more upon other quantitative indicators, such as profit margins, shareholder dividends and R&D investment, in holding decision-makers accountable. Decisions taken for all sorts of reasons may be legitimated by simple modeling tools, but no one is going to perceive or apply the model as the prime focus of accountability for the decision or the decision-maker. By contrast, in much climate and economic research, models and their applications are the prime outputs of such work, and hence are important in holding researchers and funders accountable for resources spent and their societal consequences. Alternative simple quantitative indicators for accountability purposes are less readily available in the research domain, and hence greater attention comes to rest on the formal models. But the difficulty of applying such instrumental indicators of performance to research itself, results, perhaps inevitably, in increasing complexity of the formal model. And because of the contested, controversial or simply diffuse and ambiguous identification of who is responsible for climate and economic decision-making, more complex models may emerge because of their greater flexibility in containing diverse interpretations of the 'state of affairs' and of the 'most desirable future course of action'. In other words, a complex model can contain a variety of more or less articulated visions of whom is accountable for a problem and in what way. A simple model is much less flexible, which could be a real advantage when 'closure' around problem-definition and 'legitimate parties' to a discussion is sought.

However, if it is indeed the case that model complexity and sophistication emerge, in part at least, as consequences of technical and political deconstruction in an contested policy and scientific arena, then what does this mean? Is there a danger that the model will become a source of mystification to those not intimately involved with it, possibly inculcating skepticism, distrust or complacency? It was interesting that several researchers alluded to the 'model Mafias' in their own fields, indicating that such distrust does exist, even within research specialties. Michael Grubb's (Royal Institute for International Affairs) account of his attempts to include within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 3 report of 1995 a more critical discussion of Integrated Assessment Models was a good example. He described difficulties he experienced coming-up against a well-defined community of general equilibrium economic modellers, who were promoting a politically-charged message that greenhouse gas emission reductions in the next ten years were not necessary to tackle the climate change issue. Yet, such an analysis was inter alia founded on particular contested assumptions about the relationship between technological innovation and economic markets. In initially challenging, and eventually participating in re-working the appropriate section of the IPCC WG3 report, Grubb found himself involved in 'negotiating the economics of climate change'.

Interestingly, Michael Grubb was generally positive about the IPCC process, and his experience suggests that 'model Mafias' can be more open to re-negotiation that critics might suppose (sometimes because they are not deliberately excluding an alternative viewpoint, simply unaware that it exists). However, the deeper sociological point that 'mystification' may be required to produce consensus, and cannot just therefore be dismissed as politically undesirable, was not discussed at the workshop (nor therefore was the associated question of how we delineate where and when debunking of complex models helps in producing a more credible or robust consensus).

Thus, as an exercise in promoting cross-disciplinary conversations and even as SSK fieldwork, the workshop time was well spent. However, there was another sense in which the discussions were rather unsatisfactory. This may have been because there were no formal presentations from sociologists but some of the reasons for the silence must lie with the sociologists present (ourselves included). Instead, of engaging with practitioners and articulating our own views on modeling and policy, we seemed content to sit back and soak up more of what we already knew. In particular there were perhaps two debates which could have been much further developed:

What is the Appropriate Scope of the Modeling Exercise? There was an oft expressed opinion that modeling was a case of 'horses for courses' and that generalized all-purpose models were impractical. This tends to go with the models-as-discourse-arenas approach and was not especially controversial. However, many of the criticisms made of specific models by practitioners were that they missed out key influences and this explains the trend (particularly in climate change models) towards more comprehensive and complex Integrated Modeling methodologies. The 'horse' and the 'course' are therefore highly negotiable, but these issues were not addressed in a way which allowed discussion of who might be involved in such negotiations. Clearly, who gets to decide about the 'horse' and 'course' is particularly important and, as CSEC's own research has shown, far from removing the politics from climate science, what the models do is frame how and where the politics is put in.4

What is the Appropriate Relationship with Users? There was a clear distinction amongst the modellers over how best to inform or influence policy makers. On the one hand, there was the 'retreat into science' approach in which more science and more independent scrutiny and assessment was seen as the priority need (characterised by the ESRC's Macro-Modeling Bureau). On the other, there was a more participatory style in which the model is used to 'negotiate truth' between a range of scientific and non-scientific perspectives (exemplified by the Operations Research and 'soft systems' Management Science communities, but also present in some climate and integrated assessment modeling teams) in which users, user forums and other stakeholders play a much bigger role. In both cases, the models act as discourse-arenas, but the boundaries of that discursive space are very different. The strategy of model intercomparison presumes that a better and more certain set of model results will emerge which can therefore be offered with greater surety to policy makers. Although some promoted this view, several modellers related how several large model intercomparison projects had had, in their opinion, very little impact upon the policy use of models or even on the general adequacy of the models involved. If increasing specialisation and complexity decrease usefulness - defined instrumentally or in terms of the limited symbolic outreach of a specialised knowledge community - then the two above strategies are mutually exclusive. If the quest for complexity and comprehensiveness results in the removal of models from policy communities or other audiences, decisions will then have to be based on other information - quite the opposite effect to what was intended by the modellers. In many ways, it is the canonical image of science which underlies this tendency towards greater detail and complexity and this, of course, is something which goes to the very heart of SSK.

In conclusion therefore, the success of what happened at Lancaster depends on your perspective - in particular, what was the workshop supposed to achieve? As a means of promoting 'practitioner-talk' the workshop was an undoubted success. Moreover, from a 'field-trip' point of view it was also time well spent and provided further empirical data on the tensions between doing science and making policy. However, the sociological understanding of models was not really advanced during the workshop, and was not directly presented in a systematic fashion to the modellers themselves.

The key question is thus whether or not sociologists of science can (or should) do anything in the area of simulation models and policy making. In particular, does our 'outsider' status mean that we have anything useful to say to practitioners or policy makers? What happens when we as 'outsiders' come to take on an identity as 'quasi-insiders' within specific modeling communities whose own boundaries around 'legitimate experts' and 'practitioners' are sometimes rather flexible? The implication of the workshop was that we might (should?) have something useful to contribute and this is evidenced by the formal commitment to produce a set of draft guidelines for modellers and policy makers concerning the evaluation and subsequent use of models in policy. In fact, such a document was not produced and this is undoubtedly a shame. Maybe if more policy makers had been present, this goal might have been achieved. However, the real problem was not the absence of the document, but the inability of the sociologists present to make a contribution, partly we feel because of the limited time for interactions to develop. We therefore hope that we can hold a similar meeting in one or two years time where the conversations started in Lancaster can continue. In the meantime, a special edition of the journal Project Appraisal is planned on the theme of models in policy making, in which many of the papers presented at the workshop will be published.


1. See for example the special issues of Social Studies of Science: Vol. 25, No. 2 (1995) and Vol. 26, No. 2 (1996)
2. Paul Edwards (1996), "Global Comprehensive Models in Politics and Policymaking," Climatic Change, 32(2): 149-161; Simon Shackley and ƒric Darier (1997) "The Seduction of the Sirens: A Dialogue on Global Modelling," to appear in Frank Fisher and Maarten Hajer, Living With Nature, forthcoming.
3. Yaron Ezrahi, The Descent of Icarus, Harvard University Press, 1990.
4. See Brian Wynne, "SSK's Identity Parade: Signing Up, Off-and-On" Social Studies of Science Vol. 26, No. 2 (1996) pp. 357-91

Robert Evans, Centre for Urban Technology, Dept. of Town and Country Planning, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, e-mail: [R.J.Evans@ncl.ac.uk]

Simon Shackley, Centre for the Study of Environmental Change, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YT, e-mail: [S.Shackley@lancaster.ac.uk]



By Steve Fuller

About five years ago, I coined the "High Church-Low Church" distinction to capture two rather different ways of conceptualizing the trajectory of something called "STS"[1]. In High Church terms, "STS" means "Science & Technology Studies," an emerging academic discipline that uses the methods of the humanities and the social sciences to study mainly the natural sciences but increasingly technology. In Low Church terms, "STS" means "Science, Technology & Society," a nascent social movement that has been historically promoted by science and engineering teachers concerned with the social implications of mainly technology but increasingly science. There is probably a broad political consensus between the High and Low Churches regarding a generally critical attitude toward the role of science and technology in society today. However, the High Church stresses the need for more research to understand the complexities of that role, whereas the Low Church wishes to reduce some of those complexities by reorienting science and engineering education. Consequently, the two Churches of STS inhabit rather different professional societies and represent themselves in rather different ways, though often drawing from many of the same intellectual traditions.

Perhaps the best way to see these alternative constructions of STS is in textbook design. Although most researchers and students of STS are still from English-speaking countries, there is no widely accepted STS textbook in English. Of course, there are several famous -- or, should I say, notorious -- books that have sold well, but their visions of the field are so personalized, and exclude so much of what normally travels under the rubric of STS, that they cannot be used as core texts without substantial supplementation. (Interestingly, the so-called Handbook of Science and Technology Studies published by Sage and endorsed by the 4S Council, suffers from a version of this problem.) Last year, as a member of the publications committee of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), I was asked to contact leading anglophone academic publishers about the prospect of an STS textbook series, with the books written "by committee" so as to ensure a fair representation of STS perspectives. Based on largely market considerations, the publishers did not exactly jump at the opportunity (though there may still be ways of selling the general idea). However, this exercise enabled me to have a look at a couple of STS textbooks outside the anglophone world which do a very creditable job of covering the breadth of the field. I shall refer to them as the 'German' and 'Spanish' textbooks, after their language of composition[2]. They represent, respectively, a High and Low Church take on STS, as well as the state of the institutionalization of STS in their respective countries.

The organization of the two books distinguishes their audiences immediately. The German book presupposes a 'department' of science studies where students might 'major' in the subject, as they might any other academic discipline. The subject matter of science studies is defined pretty much from the standpoint of field practitioners, in which 'field practitioners' are primarily people who do empirical work studying contemporary science and technology, often with an eye to policymakers. Sociology is the major contributing discipline to science studies, with some nods to political science and economics and, to a much lesser extent, philosophy. One could imagine this book as crafting a conceptual framework for the European Union, stressing the Franco-German axis, with a respectful nod to Britain and virtual neglect of Europeans located on the periphery of the continent, be they Spain and Portugal or Sweden and Norway. The major exception to this rule comes in discussions of issuessuch as science and technology in the military and "Big Science", where the importance of the United States becomes unavoidable. The book captures the sense in which STS is developing in Northern Europe, though not so clearly in Britain.). While the book contains many features with which I am in personal sympathy (especially the 'two cultures' problem), it struck me as perhaps too narrow and "professional" in focus. I would recommend a translation of this book to graduate students in the UK, but I would be reluctant to use it as an undergraduate text, where half the battle is convincing the students that science studies is not just an esoteric ghetto of sociology. (An appreciative critical review of this book by Aant Elzinga appears in the September 1996 EASST Review.)

By contrast, in translation, the Spanish book would be much more usable as a text at the undergraduate level. It is written much more from the student's standpoint, as it starts (not ends, as in the German case) by discussing popular conceptions of science and technology. There is a better balance between the coverage of science and technology(the German text is somewhat biased toward science), and the authors are not afraid to draw on works like 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance' to make a point. Whereas the Spanish book lacks the glossary that is indeed a strong point of the German book, it contains inset figures that discuss relevant concepts and issues in detail at appropriate moments -- a stylistic device that helps breaks up endless blocks of text. There is a clearer -- and more clearly stated -- balance between American and European contributions to science studies, with many of the examples taken from debates in the United States. Two of the chapters draw very heavily on Spanish cases. An especially appealing feature of the book is its openness to the discussion of STS as part of movements to mobilize the populace to action (including a table of the major events in the history of STS as a worldwide social movement). Not surprisingly, the ethical dimension is highlighted in the book in a way that invites the readership of professional scientists, physicians, and engineers. (Ethics is strikingly absent as a topic in the German book.) Thus, one gets the sense that STS is not limited to a particular university department but can be of benefit tothose who take only one course in the field and then go on to do other things.

In conclusion, here is the table of contents of both books, so readers can judge for themselves the space allocated to the various topics in the field:


1. What is science studies? (15 pages)

2. Historical differentiation of the social system of science (27 pages) (professionalization of science, growth of science, big science)

3. The social organization of research (28 pages) (scientific community, norms, communication, hierarchies, competition)

4. The gender aspect of science (29 pages) (gender stratification, social construction of gender difference, feminist critique of science)

5. The newer science studies- concepts and perspectives (35 pages) (laboratory studies, relativism, actor-network theory, etc)

6. The social and human sciences (32 pages) (history, functional differentiation, two cultures debate)

7. Science and Technology - the social shaping of technology (27 pages) (innovation process, large technical systems, science and the military)

8. University-state-industry: aspects of science policy (36 pages) (transformation of the science system in the 19th and 20th centuries, sponsorship, financing, evaluation)

9. Science in the public sphere (37 pages) (media, popularization, controversies)


PART I (185 pages): The Social Study of Science and Technology

1. Science and technology in our midst (popular conceptions, especially negative ones)

2. The traditional conception of science and technology (scientists' conceptions and logical positivism)

3. The end of hegemony: The academic reaction (relativism, induction, the underdetermination of theory by evidence, constructivism and other philosophically informed criticisms of the traditional conception of science)

4. The end of hegemony: The social reaction (STS activism from 1945 to 1995 -- including a list of important events)

5. The principal STS traditions

6. The European tradition (Sociology of scientific knowledge, ethnographic studies, postmodernism, the material and practical character of science, the concept of technoscience)

7. The American tradition (pragmatism, phenomenology, analytic philosophy, the social consequences of science and technology in the 60s, IQ controversy, Woolgar v. Winner on the politics of technology)

8. The political economy of science and technology at both micro- and macrolevels (surveys mostly economists and scientometricians)

9. Images of technology (recaps the ground covered in Winner's Autonomous technology)

10. The convergence of traditions: Technology Assessment and Political action (about the critique of technocracy, the role of public participation)

-- Bibliography of STS (graded by importance)

PART II (130 pages): STS Themes and Case Studies

11. Ethical questions in science and technology (including research ethics, nuclear ethics, environmental ethics, biomedical ethics, electronic information ethics, engineering ethics -- this essay is written by an American, Carl Mitcham, so it may already exist in English)

12. STS Education in Action (in secondary schools and universities)

13. IQ Theories and related social technologies

14. Reproductive technologies: a case study in biomedical ethics

15. Public participation in technological and environmental politics: a case study of the Asturian forest (in Northwest Spain).


[1] Steve Fuller, Philosophy, Rhetoric, and the End of Knowledge: The Coming of Science and Technology Studies. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press (1993), pp. xiii ff.

[2] U. Felt, H. Nowotny, K. Tascher, Wissenschaftsforschung: ine Einfuehrung ['Science Studies: An Introduction'] (Frankfurt: Reihe Campus, 1995), 322 pages. M.I. Gonzalez, Garcia, J.A. Lopez Cerezo, J.L. Lujan Lopez, Ciencia, Tecnologia y Sociedad: Una Introduccion al Estudio Social de la Ciencia y La Tecnologia ['Science, Technology, and Society: An Introduction to the Social Study of Science and Technology'] (Madrid: Editorial Tecnos, 1995), 324 pages.

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