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The New Politics of Science

by David Dickson

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How science "gets done" in today's world has profound political repercussions, since scientific knowledge, through its technical applications, has become an important source of both economic and military power. The increasing dependence of scientific research on funding from business and the military has made questions about the access to and control of scientific knowledge a central issue in today's politics of science. In The New Politics of Science, David Dickson points out that "the scientific community has its own internal power structures, its elites, its hierarchies, its ideologies, its sanctioned norms of social behavior, and its dissenting groups. And the more that science, as a social practice, forms an integral part of the economic structures of the society in which it is imbedded, the more the boundaries and differences between the two dissolve. Groups inside the scientific community, for example, will use groups outside the community—and vice versa—to achieve their own political ends." In this edition, Dickson has included a new preface commenting on the continuing and increasing influence of industrial and defense interests on American scientific research in the 1980s.… (more)

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How science "gets done" in today's world has profound political repercussions, since scientific knowledge, through its technical applications, has become an important source of both economic and military power. The increasing dependence of scientific research on funding from business and the military has made questions about the access to and control of scientific knowledge a central issue in today's politics of science. In The New Politics of Science, David Dickson points out that "the scientific community has its own internal power structures, its elites, its hierarchies, its ideologies, its sanctioned norms of social behavior, and its dissenting groups. And the more that science, as a social practice, forms an integral part of the economic structures of the society in which it is imbedded, the more the boundaries and differences between the two dissolve. Groups inside the scientific community, for example, will use groups outside the community—and vice versa—to achieve their own political ends." In this edition, Dickson has included a new preface commenting on the continuing and increasing influence of industrial and defense interests on American scientific research in the 1980s.

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