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The One Culture?A Conversation about Science$
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Jay A. Labinger and Harry Collins

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226467221

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226467245.001.0001

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Barbarians at Which Gates?

Barbarians at Which Gates?

(p.233) Chapter 23 Barbarians at Which Gates?
The One Culture?

Shapin Steven

University of Chicago Press

This chapter attempts to draw attention to the structural implications of a situation in which a group of academics are obliged repeatedly to attest, not just their competence in their special subjects (which, though unpleasant and uncommon, is certainly fair enough) but the innocuousness of their states of mind and intentions in doing their specialized work (which, the chapter states, is not). More generally, the cultural phenomenon of academic “antiscience” would be accorded a legitimacy it does not deserve, namely, positing its substantial and coherent existence. The dismal fate of the academic “antiscientists” would then be available as an object-lesson of what risks attend certain forms of inquiry. The university will be seen as a haven for free inquiry just on the condition that one naturalistically studies subjects. The lesson will be: study down; do not study up.

Keywords:   antiscience, university, natural science, science studies, states of mind, specialized work

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