Combatants from one or other of the "two cultures" (Science versus the arts and humanities) in the so-called "Science Wars" have launcehed bitter attacks but have seldom engaged in constructive dialogue about central issues. This book is about an exchange of opinions and ideas rather than a trading of insults. The contributors find areas of broad agreement in a conversation about science, its legitamacy and authority as a means of understanding the world and whether science studies undermines the practice and finding of science and scientists. The first part of "The One Culture?" consists of papers written by scientists and sociologists, which were distributed to the participants. The second part presents commentaries on the papers and discusses their central themes and arguments. The final part has the participants in the discussion responding to these critiques, offering defenses, clarifications and modifications of their positions. This book shows the reader what is at stake in the "Science Wars" and provides a framework for how to go about seeking the answers to vital questions raised within the debate.
Jay A. Labinger is a research chemist and administrator of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. Harry Collins is a Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology and director of the Centre for the Study of Knowledge, Expertise, and Science at Cardiff University.