Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey

Article excerpt

Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey, by Peter J. Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus. Chicago, May 2005. $25

The late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries provide a fascinating vantage point from which to survey the scientific developments that have led to our late-modern postindustrial society. This is a time marked not only by tremendous advances in science and technology, but also by increasing uncertainty about the means and ends of our efforts to better understand and manipulate the world in which we live. In a time of ecological destruction, debates over "intelligent design" and evolution, heated rhetoric about the ethical status of new biotechnologies, and strong ties between the scientific community and the "military-industrial complex," it is ever more difficult to know what "good science" actually means.

Into the midst of this uncertainty, historians of science Bowler and Morus have injected a refreshing dose of clarity and historical perspective. Making Modern Science is a caution to those who put too much stock in the objectivity of science. …

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