Science as a Social Institution
Terms in this set (23)
Science is the pursuit of knowledge through systematic methods.
Sociology of Science
Sociology of science is a sociological perspective that examines how scientific knowledge develops.
A scientific method is an objective, logical, and systematic way of collecting empirical data and arriving at conclusions.
Universalism is a norm in scientific research that holds that research should be judged solely on the basis of quality.
Organized skepticism is a norm in scientific research in which no scientific finding or theory is exempt from questioning.
Communalism is a belief held among some scientists that all scientific knowledge should be made available to everyone in the scientific community.
Disinterestedness is a norm in scientific research in which scientists should seek truth, not personal gain.
The Matthew Effect
The Matthew effect refers to the tendency for honors and recognition to go to those scientists who have already achieved recognition. On the other hand, they tend to be withheld from scientists who have not yet made their mark.
Set of shared concepts, methods, and assumptions that make up the scientific reality at any point in time.
Science as a social institution
-Initial focus on the creative innovations.
--Sociology of science- focuses on the /development/ of scientific knowledge.
The Institutionalization of Science in the West
[The birth of science- 300 BC.]
--Plato and Aristotle's exploration of math, astronomy, biology, physics, and medicine.
--Hellenistic Age- 300-100 BC -Greek culture spread to Egypt with development of large libraries.
-Fall of Roman Empire influenced Catholic Church's rejection of scientific inquiry.
-Rebirth after 1,000 years passed.
Rebirth of Science [caused by four factors]
1. Renaissance- Italy; wealth for merchants,
2.Printing Press- book production.
3. Age of Exploration- astronomy and math discoveries.
4. Protestant Reformation- individualism.
redefined the nature of the universe, methods of research and functions of science.
Age of Enlightenment; Modern science
Age of Enlightenment- supported reason over religious beliefs.
Modern science- 1700's -small population of interest.
Significant during late 1800's and early 1900's.
Science in the West
Influenced by industrialization- science was a "tool of progress"
Specialization- employment in universities, public industry.
Norms of Scientific Research
Universalism- based solely on quality and not on scientist's social class, race, or gender.
Organized skepticism- no finding or theory is exempt from questioning. Continue to question accuracy.
Communalism- scientific knowledge is available to other researchers.
Norms of Scientific Research (cont.)
Disinterestedness- scientists need to search for the truth and not personal gain. No alteration of data; fair judgement of research material.
Counter-norms- impact of unclear or controversial topics points to personal characteristics of researcher. Influenced by special interests.
Realities of Scientific Research
Fraud- Piltdown Hoax of 1912- "missing link" between apes and humans found to be untrue.
Competition- refusal to share unpublished info with colleagues; economic profit.
The Matthew Effect- Credit for a scientific discovery goes to a scientist who has already achieved recognition.
--pros and cons: hamper careers; new conclusions.
Conflicting views of reality
paradigm coined by Thomas Kuhn to describe a set of shared concepts, methods, and assumptions that form scientific reality at any point in time.
Writers focus on how science, real or imaginary, affects individuals and society.
Ray Bradbury-1950 novel- The Martian Chronicles- space colonists from Earth watch from Mars as planet is destroyed by nuclear war.
Social implications of scientific and technological discoveries.
Predicting the future
Year 2050: Pilotless airplanes, robot doctors, Human Genome Project, cloning, foods called nutraceuticals, "smart glass" windows, computerized refrigerator.
Ethics of Biotechnology
Cloning and human genetic biotechnical developments.
Improve performance of athletes?
Creation of a master race?
Investigate the social factors that affect health care.
Concentrate on patient and practitioner behavior, deliver of health care, and rate and control of disease.
Jobs such as teacher, social worker, patient advocate, health planner, technical writer, and policy analyst.
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