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Opening Pandora's Box : A Sociological Analysis of Scientists' Discourse - G. Nigel Gilbert

Opening Pandora's Box

A Sociological Analysis of Scientists' Discourse

Paperback Published: 23rd April 1984
ISBN: 9780521274302
Number Of Pages: 212

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This book proposes a fresh approach to sociological analysis and, in particular, to the analysis of scientific culture. It moves away from previous studies, which have tended to focus on scientists' actions and beliefs to show that analysis of scientific discourse can be productive and revealing. The book demonstrates that scientists produce varying accounts of their actions and beliefs in different social situations. Rather than attempting to extract one coherent interpretation from these diverse accounts, the study identifies two basic scientific repertoires and shows how scientists use them to create their discourse. This provides a point of departure for more complex analytical topics. Discourse analysis is applied to show how different degrees of 'consensus' can be ascribed to the same group of scientists at a given moment in time through the application of standard interpretive techniques. Finally, discourse analysis is used to explore scientists' humour, a neglected topic that is shown to provide important insights into the normally hidden interpretive regularities which underlie the cultural diversity of science.

Scientists' discourse as a topic
A possible history of the field
Contexts of scientific discourse
Accounting for error
The truth will out
Constructing and deconstructing consensus
Working conceptual hallucinations
Joking apart
Pandora's bequest
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521274302
ISBN-10: 0521274303
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 212
Published: 23rd April 1984
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.22
Weight (kg): 0.32