Thomas Kuhn and the Science Wars
Not so long ago, we believed that science was a neutral, value-free quest for Truth. With "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (1962), Thomas Kuhn opened science to scrutiny as a "social" activity. He reduced science to puzzle-solving within belief systems, suggesting that "normal" science was nothing more than dogmatic stability punctuated by occasional revolutions. Sociologists of science went even further, arguing that scientists just "negotiate" their agreements rather than being constrained by mythical "facts". About a decade ago, the "Science Wars" began with counter-attacks from scientists on the sociologists. "Thomas Kuhn and the Science Wars" shows how science has become a major contested cultural symbol, and suggests that we need a postmodern synthesis in which the old debates are transcended. Science is not about demonstrations by experts, but dialogue among stakeholders. This is the new face of science, one which gives Kuhn's seminal insights new life.
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