A Liberal Critique of Science

Governing Science and Technology in a Democracy. Malcolm L. Goggin, ed. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 1986. 314 pp. $34.95. In the last decade or two, a coherent "radical critique" of science has taken shape in Europe and the United States. The critique attacks the notion that science can be significantly "value-free," arguing instead that at its heart, all science has been shaped in the interest of dominant economic and political sectors. Having recognized this, it becomes incumben

Eric Holtzman
Jun 1, 1987
Governing Science and Technology in a Democracy. Malcolm L. Goggin, ed. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 1986. 314 pp. $34.95.


In the last decade or two, a coherent "radical critique" of science has taken shape in Europe and the United States. The critique attacks the notion that science can be significantly "value-free," arguing instead that at its heart, all science has been shaped in the interest of dominant economic and political sectors. Having recognized this, it becomes incumbent upon scientists with consciences to abandon the pretense of neutrality and to choose sides with those social forces that are struggling to turn society, science and technology toward humane and generous purposes.

This book can be characterized as a "liberal" counterpart of the critique. The authors share the radicals' insistence that even at its most abstract, science is colored by context. They also share the distaste for some of the directions and...

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