Jan Cherlet, a PhD student at the Dept of Philosophy at the University of Bologna and the Dept of Third World Studies at Gent University, asks the best question to the science studies community I’ve seen for a long time:

Dear colleagues
Which “social study of science” publication would convince scientists
I seek a recent publication that describes the various ideas of the
“social study of science”, that adduces a good amount of convincing
evidence, that is easily accessible, and that would be accepted by
practising scientists themselves.
Thanks for your recommendations!

(from yesterday’s EASST Eurograd mailing list).

Jan’s question is an acid test for STS. Science managers and science bureaucrats probably get a lot out of reading social studies of science publications — but do scientists? Is the conceptual world of STS of use and interest to scientists? Can it help scientists formulate alternative research strategies? Help postdocs survive in the job race? Make science labs a more interesting place to work? Induce new and interesting ideas and experiments? Or even make this world a better place to better?

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