Theoretical Challenges for the Current Sociology of Science and Technology: A Prospect for its Future Development

Creator(s)

Contributors

Contributed date

July 18, 2018 - 12:59am

Critical Commentary

Resisting the conventional framing of "Western" versus "non-Western" frameworks, Matsumoto discusses challenges facing the sociology of science and technology, with a special emphasis on "theoretical challenges from the viewpoint of a scholar who is embedded in the East Asian locality." (130) 

Matsumoto's main point of reference is the "third wave" of science studies discussed by Harry Collins and Robert Evans. Briefly, the "third wave" is the "application" of constructivist approaches to science to social and policy issues.  In light of the "second wave" argument that scientific knowledge is underdetermined (i.e. "The difficult of strict one-to-one correspondence between scientific statements and empirical evidence" (132)), Collins and Evans argue that the third wave should take "the mutual translation between experts and the lay public as a legitimate task of STS" (132-133).

Matsumoto argues that this is only one possible approach to the "third wave," instead arguing that the underdetermination of scientific knowledge (termed "Type 1 underdetermination") can be distinguished from underdeterminations in the process of policy making, implementation, and evaluation ("Type 2") (133). 

A panel organized by Matsumoto related to this article was reported on by Talia Weiner for the blog Somatosphere. 

Language

English

Cite as

Miwao Matsumoto, "Theoretical Challenges for the Current Sociology of Science and Technology: A Prospect for its Future Development", contributed by Grant Jun Otsuki, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 18 July 2018, accessed 28 November 2021.