A Special Issue of Social Text

Science Wars

Andrew Ross, special issue editor

The eighties saw the advent of the "Culture Wars," led by Alan Bloom, William Bennett, Dinesh D'Souza, and others; now the nineties may bear witness to the "Science Wars," a conflict led by conservatives in science such as Paul Gross and Norman Levitt against so-called science bashers. Science Wars presents research and commentary from scholars in the U.S. and the U.K., including natural scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, and scholars in literary and cultural studies, to discuss the issues raised by the current debate.

This perceptive and absorbing volume testifies to the fact that in the mind of the public, science today is associated as much with destructive as with productive forces. In a world endangered by nuclear, biogenic, and chemical overdevelopment, what used to be characterized as knee-jerk technophobia has now become an everyday response to the industrial threats generated by science. Showing that rising technoskepticism forms the basis of public anxiety about everything from processed food to the prospect of a biologically engineered future, contributors examine the events that brought conservative scientists to join the backlash against multiculturalism and the left.

In asking how and why academic, corporate, and military science answers only to elite needs and interests, Science Wars argues persuasively for greater public accountability while providing explanations for the emergence of popular alternatives to establishment science. This controversial and insightful study will be of interest to all those engaged both in and with the sciences and to those involved in the revaluation of the arts and sciences within and outside the academy.


Science is "Good to Think With"

by Sandra Harding

Does Science Put an End to History, or History to Science?

by Steve Fuller

Meeting Polemics with Irenics

by Emily Martin

My Enemy is-Perhaps-My Friend

by Hilary Rose

The Gloves Come Off: Shattered Alliances in Science and Technology Studies

by Langdon Winner

Responses to a Marriage Failed

by Dorothy Nelkin

What are Science Studies For and Who Cares?

by George Levine

Unity, Dyads, Triads, Quads and Coomplexity

by Sharon Traweek

Making Transparencies: Seeing Through the Science Wars

by Sarah Franklin

Gender and Genitals

by Ruth Hubbard,

Nine Propositions on Science and Anti-Science

by Richard Levins

Dispatches from the Science Wars

by Joel Kovel

The Politics of the Science Wars

by Stanley Aronowitz

Science Skirjmishes and Science Policy

by Les Levidow

Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Physics

by Alan Sokal

A Few Good Species

by Andrew Ross

Vol. 14, Nos. 1-2

254 pages

ISBN 0-8223-6433-6

paper, $17

APRIL 1996