Science and power

Science and power: “Isabelle Stengers’ The Invention of Modern Science is my favourite book on the historical relationship between science and culture, and a core text for my sociology of science and technology course next term.

In this excerpt from Steven Shaviro’s review, he discusses how science negotiates truths, rather than illuminating The Truth:

“As for science, the problem comes when it claims to explain everything, when it arrogates to itself the power to declare all other forms of explanation illegitimate, when it abstracts itself away from the situations, the events, in which it distinguishes truth from fiction, and claims to be the repository of all truths, with the authority to relegate all other truth-claims to the status of discredited fictions. As Stengers notes, when science does this (or better, when scientists and their allies do this), science is not just political, but is playing a very particular sort of power politics; and in doing so, science is certainly not disinterested, but in fact expressing extremely strong and powerful interests…”

(Via Purse Lip Square Jaw.)


also a book that i’ve enjoyed in the last few years.