Caption: The Scientific Revolution, by Steven Shapin. Published by University of Chicago Press, 1998
The Scientific Revolution, by Steven Shapin. Published by University of Chicago Press, 1998 

Episode 16 - Steven Shapin

From: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Series: How to Think About Science
Length: 53:57

HOW TO THINK ABOUT SCIENCE: Part Sixteen of a documentary by David Cayley, a producer with the CBC Radio program IDEAS. Modern societies have tended to take science for granted as a way of knowing, ordering and controlling the world. Clips include: Steven Shapin, the co-author of Leviathan and the Air Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life.

Ep-16-shapin-book_small Some years ago, philosopher Ian Hacking compiled a list of books whose titles used the term social construction. There were a great variety of such titles, Hacking found, but most used the expression with the same intent: to diminish the reality of the category that was said to be socially constructed. To say that knowledge is formed by a social process is still, very often, to say that that knowledge is compromised in some way. Something is either true or it’s socially constructed, but not both. Historian Steven Shapin thinks this is the wrong approach. He has argued in books like A Social History of Truth, and Science is Culture that science is social all the way, and that this in no way undermines its truth claims; truth also being, by nature, social. In this episode, Steven Shapin shares his thoughts on the history of science and the sociology of scientific knowledge.

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Piece Description

Some years ago, philosopher Ian Hacking compiled a list of books whose titles used the term social construction. There were a great variety of such titles, Hacking found, but most used the expression with the same intent: to diminish the reality of the category that was said to be socially constructed. To say that knowledge is formed by a social process is still, very often, to say that that knowledge is compromised in some way. Something is either true or it’s socially constructed, but not both. Historian Steven Shapin thinks this is the wrong approach. He has argued in books like A Social History of Truth, and Science is Culture that science is social all the way, and that this in no way undermines its truth claims; truth also being, by nature, social. In this episode, Steven Shapin shares his thoughts on the history of science and the sociology of scientific knowledge.

Broadcast History

This 24 part series first aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
RETROGRADE LEO KOTTKE LEO KOTTKE: ONE GUITAR NO VOCALS. PRIVATE MUSIC :00
BLIMP LEO KOTTKE LEO KOTTKE: ONE GUITAR NO VOCALS. PRIVATE MUSIC :00
ACCORDION BELLS LEO KOTTKE LEO KOTTKE: ONE GUITAR NO VOCALS. PRIVATE MUSIC :00

Related Website

http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/science/index.html#