Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://repositorio.unicamp.br/jspui/handle/REPOSIP/80616
Type: Artigo de periódico
Title: RECENT PERSPECTIVES IN THE SOCIAL STUDY OF SCIENCE
Author: VESSURI, HMC
Abstract: The 1970s were characterized by an anti-Mertonian bend, the post-Kuhnian re-establishment of the linkages between sociology of science and sociology of knowledge, the exposure by the ethno-methodologists of the wealth of collective manoeuvres through which objects are constructed, both in daily life as in science, the diversification of rationality according to the objects and circumstances to which it applies, the Habermasian enquire into the orientations of knowledge and the very sense of objectivity. Such intellectual climate favoured the emergence of several research lines more or less tangential with the Mertonian tradition, which sought to renew both the theory and practice in the sociological analysis of scientific activity. The present essay reviews some of those approaches. Among the interrogations of the intellectual agenda of sociology of science in the 80s there was that of the nature of human knowledge in general, rather than of scientific knowledge in particular. Scientific knowledge is not treated 'a priori' as epistemologically special. Science is perceived as sociologically interesting justly because it appears as the canonical example of knowledge and/or because it is an institution producing knowledge that is easily accessible, for it displays openly a good portion of its production processes. Direct observation of the real scientific work-place (often, although not necessarily the laboratory) allows to explore the microsociological dimension. Frequently characterized by a methodological constructivism, studies examine the processes by means of which the objects of knowledge are constituted in science. We bring out affinities of the recent production in the field of scientific and technical disciplines with the characteristic approaches of the sociologists of science, although in general the latter were more concerned with exploring the social bases of discovery, considering that the macro dimensions of disciplines made more difficult their handling. However, the new perception of scientific and technical disciplines as political institutions that delimit areas of academic territory, distribute privileges and responsibilities of expert knowledge and structure the claims over resources, embodied as they are in university departments, professional societies and informal market relations between producers and consumers of knowledge, allow to glimpse an eventual synthesis which may facilitate a better understanding of the dynamics of scientific advance. Aspects of scientometrics are considered as subproducts of the conceptual and empirical development of sociology of science. In particular, we touch on problems of good for whom? with regard to science indicators and of the under-representation of scientific activity of the developing countries in current scientometrics. The work ends with some reflections upon the perspectives of research for the future.
Country: Venezuela
Editor: Interciencia
Rights: aberto
Date Issue: 1991
Appears in Collections:Unicamp - Artigos e Outros Documentos

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