It is possible to be against science in many ways. In this chapter I will present a view of science that is ‘against’ in the same way as it is possible to be against fox hunting or smoking. There is however another view, or more properly views, which regard science as a contingent social construction, no more privileged in its accounts of the world than (say) astrology or voodoo. In Bruno Latour’s words they aim ‘to abolish the distinction between science and fiction’ (Latour 1988: 166). I will argue that the first of these, (what I will call) the rejectionist view of science, is naïve and incoherent and the second view of science (what I will call social constructionist) is (mostly) in error. Nevertheless both positions do raise important issues around the question of the social and ethical basis of science, matters I will return to in Chapter 6. Though many of the arguments ‘against’ and ‘for’ science are specifically aimed at the natural sciences they mostly would be equally applicable to the social sciences. However, some are specifically critical of the idea of social science as science and I will consider these particular criticisms in the next chapter.
The ‘science’ debate has produced an enormous literature and at the end of this chapter I make a few suggestions for further reading. The three ‘views’ I present are therefore not intended as a comprehensive account of the debate, but rather as exemplars - which of course others may have chosen differently.
The position I characterise as ‘rejectionism’ comes in many shades. It can take a humanist academic form where literature and art are taken as culturally superior to science. It can take the form of the ‘technophobia’ of those who see science and technology as dehumanising, environmentally destructive, or both (Alvares 1988). Finally there are those who see science as simply a form of ideology or cultural hegemony (Roszak  1995). These positions shade both into each other and into social constructionism or revisionism. Usually they are polemical and rarely they are offered as a more considered position. An example of the latter might be Brian