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What are the top 100 indispensable readings for grasping science and technology studies? Please list your suggestions in the APA reference format or a reasonable approximation. Just click Edit to add your contribution; please keep the refs in alphabetical order. To number the reference automatically, place a pound sign (#) in front of each reference item. Insert a Wiki link to a page titled "Author Date" containing an annotation explaining the significance of the work and why it is included in this list. For an example, please see Schapin and Schaffer 1985.

TIP: Students and other newcomers would appreciate a brief annotation explaining the significance of the work. I've added a couple to illustrate the concept.Bryan Pfaffenberger 10:41, 12 September 2006 (EDT)


Top - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  1. Adas, Michael. (1989). Machines as the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  2. Barnes, B., D. Bloor, J. Henry (1996), Scientific Knowledge: A Sociological Analysis, London: Athlone. Major synthesis of the Strong Programme approach to the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) by two of its leading practitioners. The Strong Programme departs from prior sociologies of science in that it refuses to restrict itself to failed scientific theories and beliefs; using the Principle of symmetry, it finds sociological explanations for successful beliefs and theories as well.
  3. Bijker, Wiebe E. (1995)Of Bicycles, Bakelite, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Chance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  4. Calvert, Monte A. (1967). The Mechanical Engineer in America, 1830-1910: Professional Cultures in Conflict. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  5. Cowan, Ruth Schwarz. (1983). More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology From the Open Hearth to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books. By focusing on users instead of just on creators of technologies, Cowan is able to challenge 'common sense' assumptions about results of household technologies and give voice to neglected groups (in this case, women) regarding technologies.
  6. Dupree, A. Hunter. (1957) Science in the Federal Government: A History of Policies and Activities to 1940. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  7. Ellul, Jacques. (1967) The Technological Society. New York: Vintage Press.
  8. Ezrahi, Yaron. (1990) The Descent of Icarus: Science and the Transformation of Contemporary Democracy. Cambridge: Harvard. An important analysis of the contributions of science and technology to the theorizing of democracy and democratic governance, especially in the US, from the Enlightenment to the Reagan Administration.
  9. Forman, Paul. (1971). "Weimar culture, causality, and quantum theory: adaptation by German physicists and mathematicians to a hostile environment," Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences, Vol. 3, pp 1-115. The so-called "Forman thesis"; Forman argues that the culture of Weimar Germany shaped the very meanings of quantum mechanics.
  10. Forman, Paul. (1987) "Behind quantum electronics: National security as basis for physical research in the United States, 1940-1960," Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, Vol. 18, Pt. 1, pp 149-229. The origin of the "distortion thesis" that the military funding of big science during the Cold War changed not only the scale but the character of scientific research.
  11. Giedion, Sigfried. (1948) Mechanization Takes Command. A contribuition to anonymous history. New York:Oxford.
  12. Haraway, Donna J. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge.
  13. Harding, Sandra. (1991) Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?: Thinking from Women's Lives. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  14. Hughes, T.P. (1987). The Evolution of Large Technological Systems, in The Social Construction of Technological Systems, pp.51-82. W. Bijker, T.P. Hughes, and T.. Pinch (eds.), The Social Construction of Technological Systems (pp.17-50). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  15. Hughes, Thomas P. (1989). American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970. New York: Viking.
  16. Hounshell, David A. (1984). From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1936: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  17. Jasanoff, S. (1990), The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policy Makers, Cambridge: Harvard. The definitive text that brings the politics of science and technology into mainstream STS, showing how concepts such as boundary work and interpretive flexibility can be used as powerful tools for evaluating the contribution of science to political organization, and also showing how political institutions construct science and technology as powerful tools in ordering society.
  18. Jasanoff, S. (2004), States of Knowledge: The Co-Production of Science and Social Order, London: Routledge. A valuable collection of essays examining the theoretical foundations of the idiom of co-production, offering case studies of its empirical investigation and application, and also exploring the importance of STS theories and ideas for social science disciplines and pulic policy analysis.
  19. Jasanoff, S. et al. (eds.) (1995), Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, London: Sage.
  20. Kasson, John F. (1976). Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America, 1776-1900. New York.
  21. Kelves, Daniel J. (1979). The Physicists: The History of a Scientific Community in Modern America. New York: Vintage Books.
  22. Kline, Ronald. (1985). Construing 'Technology' as 'Applied Science': Public Rhetoric of Scientists and Engineers in the United States, 1880-1945," Isis, 86, 194-204.
  23. Kohler, Robert E. (1994). Lords of the Fly: Drosophila Genetics and the Experimental Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. In this influential work of sociological history, Kohler retells the story of rise of fruit fly genetics in the lab of T. H. Morgan, emphasizing the role of the fly itself--and its construction as a "model organism", as much a technology as a natural object--as well as the peculiar "moral economy" of the early Drosophilists (fruit fly geneticists).
  24. Knorr-Cetina, Karin. (1999). Epistemic Cultures. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  25. Kuhn, Thomas. (1962) The Stucture of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Probably the most widely read and influential work on the history, philosophy, and sociology of science, Structure describes the concepts of scientific "paradigms", "paradigm shifts", and "normal science". Nearly everything in STS written after the 1960s has been influenced, at least indirectly, by Kuhn's ideas from Structure.
  26. Latour, Bruno. (1988). Science in Action. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. This work is Latour's major mid-career synthesis; in it, he develops a sociology of science and technology based on concept of non-human actors (called actants) in alliance with humans; such alliances may prevail if they are able, as Latour puts it, to withstand "trials of strength." One of the foundational works of Actor-network theory (ANT), Science in Action remains controversial in that some see Latour trying to sneak naive scientific realism and technological determinism in through the back door of science studies.
  27. Latour, Bruno and Steve Woolgar. (1986) Laboratory Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press. A pioneering anthropology of laboratory science -- and it wasn't just any laboratory. Latour studied Roger Guillemin's biomedical lab in La Jolla, CA, observing work that later resulted in Guillemin's receiving the Nobel Prize. Throughout the work, Latour cites the Strong Programme, but is clearly unwilling to deny that material phenomena play no role in the outcome of scientific controversies. Guillemin won out over his critics because, in part, he had identified what Latour came to call an actant -- a material phenomenon capable of "withstanding trials of strength." Guillemin formed an alliance with the actant; what is more, this alliance could be spread to others, and they too would be able to withstand trials of strength. This work is foundational in one of the three branches that later coalesced as Actor-network theory; the others arose from the work of French sociologist Michel Callon and British anthropologist John Law.
  28. MacKenzie, D. A. (1990), Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  29. Marx, Leo. (1964). Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. New York.
  30. Mayr, Otto, and Robert C. Post, eds. (1982). Yankee Enterprise: The Rise of the American System of Manufactures. Washington, DC: SIP.
  31. Mumford, Lewis. (1934). Technics and Civilization. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.
  32. Noble, David F. (1977). America by Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism. New York.
  33. Noble, David F. (1984). Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  34. Nye, David E. (1994). American Technological Sublime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  35. Nye, David E. (1995). Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology. Cambridge; London: The MIT Press.
  36. Pfaffenberger, B. (1992), 'Technological Dramas', Science, Technology, and Human Values 17: 282-312.
  37. Pinch, T., & and Bijker, W. (1987). The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts: Or, How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other, in W. Bijker, T.P. Hughes, and T.. Pinch (eds.), The Social Construction of Technological Systems (pp.17-50). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. This is the foundational, programmatic paper that introduced the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) approach. The paper applies to technology the Principle of symmetry developed in the Strong Programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK); in other words, it insists on using sociological explanations for successful technological innovations as well as unsuccessful ones.
  38. Pinch, T. & Kline, R. (1996). Users as Agents of Technological Change: The Social Construction of the Automobile in the Rural United States, Technology and Culture 37 (1996), pp.763-795. In this important contribution to the social construction of technology (SCOT), Pinch and Kline address one of the central criticisms of SCOT in its initial formulation: The theory focused entirely on the design activity and all but ignored the contributions users make to the design of technological artifacts. Historians of technology have repeatedly shown that, when new products are introduced, manufacturers may fail to grasp how these products will eventually be used -- and what's more, how users will modify the products in light of the problems they identify. The SCOT model can be extended to users, this essay argues, and what is more, doing so is illuminating.
  39. Russell, Stewart. (1986). "The Social Construction of Artefacts: Response to Pinch and Bijker." Social Studies of Science (May 1986): 331-346.
  40. Restivo, S. (1992), Mathematics in Society and History, Kluwer, Boston. This is the first book by a sociologist devoted exlusively to a general sociology of mathematics.
  41. Restivo, S. (1983), The Social Relations of Physics, Mysticism, and Mathematics, Kluwer, Boston. Part I of this book is the most comprehensive review and critique of the Capra thesis that the ancients "had" modern scientific ideas and that modern science and ancient mysticism are converging and compatible. Part II is the one of the earliest general introduction to the sociology of mathematics in STS and the social sciences.
  42. Shapin, S., & Schaffer, S. Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life (1985). This celebrated study confirmed the utility and significance of the Strong Programme for the sociology and history of science; it demonstrates that Boyle was successful, not only because he invented the experimental method, but that his philosophy -- a willingness to be persuaded by the facts -- found ready acceptance among the members of a nascent, secular intelligentsia that feared the return of absolutism.
  43. Smith, Merritt Roe, and Leo Marx, eds. (1984). Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Cambridge, MA; London: MIT Press.
  44. Winner, L. (1986). Do Artefacts have Politics? in L. Winner, The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology (1986), pp. 19-39. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. A foundational paper that questions whether S&TS has gone too far in rejecting technological determinism. Examining a range of cases, including the famous "low bridges" of Long Island, Winner questions whether technological artifacts can be understood without comprehending the political aims that they embody.
  45. Winner, L. (1993). Upon Opening the Black Box and Finding It Empty: Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Technology. Science, Technology, and Human Values 18: 362-378.
  46. Woodhouse, Edward and Joseph Marone (1986) Averting Catastrophe: Strategies for Regulating Risky Technologies. Berkeley: University of California Press.