By M. J. Mulkay (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333134311

ISBN-13: 9780333134313

ISBN-10: 1349014508

ISBN-13: 9781349014507

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Additional info for The Social Process of Innovation: A study in the sociology of science

Example text

At the same time the physicists began to respond by supplying useful information to the 44 astronomers, for example information about very distant objects which are optically faint but which emit powerful radio waves. This convergence of research interests became so close that in 1959 the new area of study was officially named 'Radio Astronomy' by the International Telecommunications Union. None the less, the two fields remain institutionally separate. Optical and radio astronomers have different skills.

Research networks are the social units responsible for scientific innovation in the sense that their members encourage or discourage certain lines of work, in the sense that the initial response to research findings is made by a particular net- 35 work, and in the sense that approved results are taken up and disseminated by the network's members. Furthermore, as Kuhn (1970, p. e. networks) can and should be isolated without prior recourse to paradigms; the latter can then be discovered by scrutinizing the behavior of a given community's members.

In many cases they find it far from easy to understand the details of each other's research. Furthermore, in the United Kingdom at least, most radio astronomers are trained and recruited from departments of physics. This latter fact is a lasting reminder of the way in which radio astronomy arose by accident from the escalation of physics into a new area of ignorance. The account given above of some of the social processes of scientific innovation stems directly from the prior analysis of social control in science.

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The Social Process of Innovation: A study in the sociology of science by M. J. Mulkay (auth.)

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