Spaceship Earth

[Darwin fish]


The Sociology of Science



Bacon, Francis, The Advancement of Learning, 1997, Kessinger Publishing Company. GET IT HERE

Bacon, Francis, Novum Organum (idolo mentis), 1994. Open Court Publishing Company. GET IT HERE

Bloom, Howard, The Lucifer Principle : A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, 1995, New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press. "We must invent a way in which memes and their superorganismic carriers--nations and subcultures--can compete without carnage. We may find a clue to that path in science. A scientific system is one in which small groups of men and women cohere around an idea, then use the powers of persuasion and politics to establish that idea's dominance in their field, and to drive rival hypotheses--along with those who propound them--to the periphery. In the struggle for control over scientific journals, over the committees that determine what lecturers will be allowed to speak at scientific symposia, over who will get tenure, grants, prizes, and over all the various other power point that determine which ideas and researchers will be admired and which will be shunned, battles can become intense, insults snide and biting. Occasionally, a pitcher of water is even dumped on someone's head. But there is no [physical] violence." GET IT HERE

Bok, Derek Curtis, Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education, Princeton University Press, April 2003. Bok was president of Harvard University from 1971 to 1991. He is 300th Anniversary University Professor. GET IT HERE


Boulle, Pierre, and Xan Fielding (Translator), Planet of the Apes, 2000. Random House Value Publishing. GET IT HERE

Burr, Chandler, The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses, Random House, 2002. Back of book jacket: "A brilliant, feisty scientist at the center of a nasty, backstabbing, utterly absorbing, cliff-hanging scramble for the Nobel Prize." GET IT HERE

Crossen, Cynthia, "The Treatment: A Medical Researcher Pays for Challenging Drug-Industry Funding: He Said Antibiotics Weren't Good for Kids' Earaches; His Peers Found Otherwise: Now, His View Gains Ground," The Wall Street Journal, 3 January 2001, pg. A1, A6. "Conflicts of interest remain a contentious issue in biomedical research, particularly after the 1999 death of a young man undergoing gene therapy at an academic center whose director had a financial stake in the outcome of the procedure. But no one suggests that private industry, academia and the government should, or even could, disentangle themselves. As the saying goes, the only people without conflicts of interest are those who know nothing at all about the subject."

Fortey, Richard, 1999, Life : A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth, New York, NY: Vintage Books. As a bonus, this is an excellent contribution to the sociology of science, or scientific research as it socially embedded in academia, including credit shifters (p. 154), hoaxes (pp. 155-56, 292), career advancement (pp. 131-132), dogma (p. 161), and academic conferences (pp. 247-49). GET IT HERE

Gleick, James, 1992, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, New York: Random House Vintage Books. Excerpts: A Disaster of Technology. ... The space shuttle Challenger rose from its launching scaffold into a cloudless sky on January 28, 1986. ... a plummeting coffin for six men and a woman. ... [D]espite NASA's public claims to the contrary--the scientific and technological products of the shuttle were negligible. The space agency systematically misled Congress and the public about its costs and benefits. As Feynman said, the agency, as a matter of bureaucratic self-preservation, found it necessary "to exaggerate: to exaggerate how economical the shuttle would be, to exaggerate how often it could fly, to exaggerate how safe it would be, to exaggerate the big scientific facts that would be discovered." At the time of the Challenger disaster the program was breaking down internally: by the end of the year both a shortage of spare parts and an overloaded crew-training program would have brought the flight schedule to a halt. ... Following government custom, he [President Ronald Regan] appointed an investigatory commission that would repeatedly be described as independent ... Alone among the commissioners, however, Feynman worked to expand the scope of the investigation to include precisely the areas about which he disavowed competence: issues of decision making, communication, and risk assessment within the space agency. ... Kutyna told him he was the only commissioner free of political entanglements. ... He concluded is personal report by saying: "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled." (pp. 414-428). GET IT HERE

Gould, Stephen J., 1996 revised and expanded, The Mismeasure of Man, New York, NY: W.W. Norton. "If the misery of our poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." — Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle. GET IT HERE

Hanson, Anthony, 1995, Burgundy, 2nd edition (out-of-print), London: Faber and Faber. GET IT HERE

Hoban, Russell, 1998 expanded, Riddley Walker, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. "Walker is my name and I am the same. Riddley Walker. Walking my riddels where ever theyve took me and walking them now on this paper the same." page 8. GET IT HERE

Mullis, Kary, 2000, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field, New York: Random House Vintage Books. An eccentric Nobel-winning scientist of boundless curiousity, he refuses to accept any proposition based on secondhand or hearsay evidence, and always looks for the "money trail" when scientists make announcements. See especially pages 106, 119, 175-76 and 180. GET IT HERE

Sabbagh, Karl, 2000, A Rum Affair : A True Story of Botanical Fraud, New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Professor J. W. Heslop Harrison faked the discovery of new plants on the Isle of Rum in the Inner Hebrides off Scotland to prove that plants from before the Ice Age had survived in Great Britain. John Raven infiltrated one of the expeditions to Rum. The report he produced accused Harrison of systematic and persistent fabrication of his evidence. Raven began the first draft of his report in August 1948. Its 21 pages, accusing one of Britain's leading botanists of fraud, were suppressed for fifty years. Sabbagh's investigative book exposes the elaborate botanical hoax with revelations of hubris and chicanery. GET IT HERE

Singh, Simon, and John Lynch, 1998, Fermat's Enigma : The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem, New York, NY: Walker and Company. GET IT HERE

Watson, James D., 1991, The Double Helix : A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, New York, NY: W.W. Norton (with paper titled "Making It Scientifically" by Robert K. Merton, pp. 213-18) GET IT HERE

Wright, Robert, 1994, The Moral Animal : Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life, New York, NY: Vintage Books. Why We Are the Way We Are. Darwin's Biggest Moral Blemish? pp. 304-307; Postgame Analysis, pp. 307-310.Three questions to ask about anything in life, either in nature or in culture: First, cui bono? Second, cui bono? Third, cui bono? GET IT HERE


Copyright 1996-2003 All rights reserved.

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