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Prisoners of the Crystal Palace

Mapping and understanding the social and cognitive organization of scientific research fields


Peter Stern

Band: Häftad
Omfång: 225 sidor
ISBN: 978-91-972690-2-5 (slutsåld)

Modern science is organized into research fields rather than disciplines. A research field is built by social and cognitive ties; it is a sociocognitive network. In this book Peter Stern demonstrates the close correspondance between bibliometric models of the literature of research fields and the researchers’ conceptions of the field. The study shows that there is a unique set of ideas, things and marks associated with the individual nodes of the sociocognitive networks. Science is thus subdivided into sets of cognitive and social elements that are combined to form research fields.

A sociology of science and knowledge must incorporate its social as well as its cognitive forms. Scientists are like prisoners in a Crystal Palace, the true and complicated nature of which can only be understood from within, or by the active interpretations of the imprisoned. Some scientists and some of their ideas do manage to escape the sociocognitive networks into which they were born. Possibly, at the high cost of misunderstanding and oversimplification.