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Motiv för vetenskapshistoria: Civilisationsdiagnos, vetenskapsanalys och kunskapsöversättning
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. (Umeå Studies in Science, Technology and Environment)
2012 (Swedish)In: Lychnos, ISSN 0076-1648, 207-231 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

On Reasons for the History of Science. This essay addresses the basic question, “Why study the history of science?” and the way historians and other scholars from Europe and the USA have responded to it in textbooks, programmatic articles and lectures over the last hundred years. In addition to general statements – that the humanities as a whole contribute to the understanding of mankind, or that disciplines of this kind are important simply for their own sake – the author suggests that answers to this question can be grouped into three types of motives under the categories “Diagnosis of Civilisation”, “Analysis of Science”, and “Translation of Knowledge”. According to these motives, history of science is a valuable scholarly enterprise because it has the potential to contribute to (1) the understanding of certain aspects of historical and cultural development, hence putting contemporary society and some of its major challenges in perspective; (2) the examination of the nature and dynamics of science as practice, which in the end may benefit contemporary science; and (3) the communication of knowledge about science and research, notably to policy makers and the wider public, thus making science and the academic system more transparent. The lofty status of science in society, and the need for a reflexive and critical perspective on this status, may today be regarded as a fundamental premise for all these motives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Lärdomshistoriska Samfundet , 2012. 207-231 p.
National Category
Research subject
History Of Sciences and Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-65951OAI: diva2:605295
Available from: 2013-02-13 Created: 2013-02-13 Last updated: 2013-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Nordlund, Christer
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