Sociology Of Science (sociology + of_science)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Fashioned Forest Pasts, Occluded Histories?

International Environmental Analysis in West African Locales
This article considers how environmental problematics are produced and interpreted, using case material from West Africa's humid forest zone. Examing the experiences of several countries over the long term, it is possible to identify a deforestation discourse produced through national and international institutions. This represents forest and social history in particular ways that structure forest conservation but which obscure the experience and knowledge of resource users. Using fine-grained ethnography to explore how such discourse is experienced and interpreted in a particular locale, the article uncovers problems with ,discourse' perspectives which produce analytical dichotomies which confront state and villager, and scientific and ,local' knowledges. The authors explore the day-to-day encounters between villagers and administrators, and the social and historical experiences which condition these. Instances where the deforestation discourse becomes juxtaposed with villagers' alternative ideas about landscape history prove relatively few and insignificant, while the powerful material effects of the discourse tend to be interpreted locally within other frames. These findings present departures from the ways relations between citizen sciences and expert institutions have been conceived in recent work on the sociology of science and public policy. [source]

Science, systems and geomorphologies: why LESS may be more

Keith Richards
Abstract This paper has been stimulated by a debate triggered by the then British Geomorphological Research Group (now the British Society for Geomorphology) about the connections between geomorphology and Earth system science (ESS). Its purpose is to expand on some arguments we have already made about these connections, amongst other things drawing attention to neglected historical antecedents, and to the questionable status of the science implied by ESS. A premise of this further paper is that such a debate cannot be assumed to mirror conventional assessments of the content of a science, since it is about scientific institutional structures, names, boundaries and relationships. This implies that the terms of reference go well beyond critical scientific appraisal, extending to matters of evaluating a social organization, and to politics, policies, purposes and practices. We therefore begin by considering the sociology of science, scientific knowledge and technology, before moving to a consideration of the historical relationship amongst geomorphology, geology and physical geography; and to some perspectives this might offer for the current debate. Epistemological issues, arising both from the use of systems theory over multiple spatial and temporal scales, and from the demands of contemporary environmental science, are then introduced, and these lead to a conclusion that geomorphology might more appropriately be assessed against (or seen as part of) a more locally orientated ESS, which we term LESS. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

The allocation of prestigious positions in organizational science: accumulative advantage, sponsored mobility, and contest mobility

C. Chet Miller
More than 200 freshly minted doctoral graduates enter the field of organization science every year. A non-trivial number of existing faculty members move from one university to another every year, while other organization science faculty leave academia to enter retirement, consulting, or industry. Despite the importance of this large, complex system of entries and exits, few attempts have been made to explicitly understand how the system works. Drawing upon sociology of science and careers research, we studied the underlying form of the position allocation system by focusing on the relative importance of research success and prior affiliations as antecedents of movement and stability across positions. We used three theoretical models: accumulative advantage, sponsored mobility, and contest mobility. Tracking hundreds of faculty members for 16 years post doctorate, we find a downward cascading of affiliation prestige over time that affects people more dramatically and quickly than we expected, especially women. Accumulative advantage, the most predictive of our models, does help to maintain relative but not absolute prestige, at least until its effects wane in later years of the career. These findings are relevant to scholars interested in the sociology of science, organization scholars interested in the underlying dynamics of their discipline, and individuals making career choices. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

An Economic Ethics for the Anthropocene

ANTIPODE, Issue 2010
J. K. Gibson Graham
Abstract:, Over,Antipode's,40 years our role as academics has dramatically changed. We have been pushed to adopt the stance of experimental researchers open to what can be learned from current events and to recognize our role in bringing new realities into being. Faced with the daunting prospect of global warming and the apparent stalemate in the formal political sphere, this essay explores how human beings are transformed by, and transformative of, the world in which we find ourselves. We place the hybrid research collective at the center of transformative change. Drawing on the sociology of science we frame research as a process of learning involving a collective of human and more-than-human actants,a process of co-transformation that re/constitutes the world. From this vision of how things change, the essay begins to develop an "economic ethics for the Anthropocene", documenting ethical practices of economy that involve the being-in-common of humans and the more-than-human world. We hope to stimulate academic interest in expanding and multiplying hybrid research collectives that participate in changing worlds. [source]

Bacteriohopanetetrol and the sociology of science

COMPLEXITY, Issue 5 2008
Harold J. Morowitz
No abstract is available for this article. [source]