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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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Historiographical Uses of Scientific Knowledge

Historiographical Uses of Scientific Knowledge

Chapter:
(p.289) Chapter 33 Historiographical Uses of Scientific Knowledge
Source:
The One Culture?
Author(s):

Steven Weinberg

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226467245.003.0033

The work of scientists in any era is motivated by the data and the calculations available to them, as well as a whole host of social, cultural philosophical, and psychological influences. But the data are the way they are (at least some of the time) because that is the way the world is, and scientists know more now about the way the world is than they did in the past. So why not use this knowledge? Admittedly, there would be no need to do so had there been perfect knowledge of the data and calculations available to past scientists. Knowing something more about the world than what the scientists of the past knew can help us to fill in the gaps that will always be in the historical record.

Keywords:   historiography, scientific knowledge, social influences, historical record, data, calculations

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