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Science's Workings and Scientists' Work

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Using an interactionist approach, this essay uncovers the complexity of the interactions between the modern worlds of science and non-science, of scientists and non-scientists. While analysing the many moments of the interface between the two social worlds, the sociologist often surprises himself or herself of the magnitude of intrusion, or should we say, penetration of such so-called non-science elements as politics, economics, markets, bureaucracy, power, authority, state policy, into the very workings of science - as well as into the behaviour and choice of scientists. Science has lost its autonomy and its grip on its own fate; like other institutions, science has lost its magic, its myth, maybe its charm. Science is disillusioned. All this is happening, ironically, when the laymen have been worried about how their everyday lives have been dominated by science and technology, rationality, mechanical notions of progress, machines, instruments - often in an incomprehensible fashion but with deep and far-reaching consequences. Scienceness and worldliness, science worlds and non-science worlds, would go on top of each other, literally.


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