We are not Witnesses to a New Scientific Revolution

In A. Nordmann & H. Radder (eds.), Science Transformed? Debating Claims of an Epochal Break. Velbrück. pp. 31-42 (2014)
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Do the changes that have taken place in the structures and methods of the production of scientific knowledge and in our understanding of science over the past fifty years justify speaking of an epochal break in the development of science? Gregor Schiemann addresses this issues through the notion of a scientific revolution and claims that at present we are not witnessing a new scientific revolution. Instead, Schiemann argues that after the so-called Scientific Revolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a caesura occurred in the course of the nineteenth century that constituted a departure from the early modern origins of science. This change was characterized by the loss of certainty on the part of the scientists, by the steadily increasing importance of scientific communities (rather than individuals), and by the systematic intertwinement of scientific and societal development. As to present science, Schiemann admits that important changes have occurred, but he denies the conflation of nature and culture: even the OncoMouse is a natural organism, though a seriously damaged one.

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Gregor Schiemann
University of Wuppertal


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