Pinch book recalls the disputatious Tommy Gold | Cornell ChronicleHe is the recipient of the J. Harry Collins , Trevor Pinch. In the widely discussed first volume in the Golem series, The Golem: What You Should Know About Science, Harry Colllins and Trevor Pinch likened science to the Golem, a creature from Jewish mythology, a powerful creature which, while not evil, can be dangerous because it is clumsy. In this second volume, the authors now consider the Golem of technology. In a series of case studies they demonstrate that the imperfections in technology are related to the uncertainties in science. The case studies cover the role of the Patriot anti-missile missile in the Gulf War, the Challenger space shuttle explosion, tests of nuclear fuel flasks and of anti-misting kerosene as a fuel for airplanes, economic modeling, the question of the origins of oil, analysis of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the contribution of lay expertise to the analysis of treatments for AIDS.
“What You Should Know About Science” — A Book Review of ‘The Golem’
This is an excellent antidote to ultra-rational scientism. Give several case studies of high profile scientific theories where the make or break factor was not contained in the data points at all Collins, Harry M. Collins , Harry M. Collins , Trevor Pinch.
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Sociology of science is to science as pornography is to sex. The put down, with its implications that the intrusions of sociologists into the lab are little better than voyeurism, appeals strongly to some scientists. The social scientists, with their irritating air of demystification, and their obsession with text and rhetoric, can only ever write about science, and so always miss something essential which is given only to those who are actually doing it. The tensions this attitude embodies follow the rise of a generation of social researchers influenced by Thomas Kuhn, who wanted to probe exactly how scientific facts are established. It was either as irrelevant to real scientists, as pornography is to lovers.
Scientific progress without discouraging setbacks and ego-driven disputes would be dull stuff — endlessly gratifying, perhaps, for earnest participants, but awfully ho-hum for curious onlookers. And for science historians like Trevor Pinch. Science, they say, is a golem:. It is a humanoid made by man from clay and water, with incantations and spells. It is powerful.