An incisive argument for fostering stronger links between the interests of society and progress in science
Frontiers of Illusion
Science, Technology, and the Politics of Progress
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For the past fifty years, science and technologysupported with billions of dollars from the U.S. governmenthave advanced at a rate that would once have seemed miraculous, while society's problems have grown more intractable, complex, and diverse. Yet scientists and politicians alike continue to prescribe more science and more technology to cure such afflictions as global climate change, natural resource depletion, overpopulation, inadequate health care, weapons proliferation, and economic inequality.
Daniel Sarewitz scrutinizes the fundamental myths that have guided the formulation of science policy for half a centurymyths that serve the professional and political interests of the scientific community, but often fail to advance the interests of society as a whole. His analysis ultimately demonstrates that stronger linkages between progress in science and progress in society will require research agendas that emerge not from the intellectual momentum of science, but from the needs and goals of society.
"Daniel Sarewitz has written a well-informed and incisive description and analysis of the mythos by which science policy is guided, and has shown how these self-serving illusions limit and distort the contributions of scientists to the common good. Highly recommended!"
"...Sarewitz's book, which is clearly written and cogently argued, will be useful to specialists as a thought-provoking, if not historically textured, treatise on postwar science policy and to students as an introduction to some of the major issues in the recent debate on the topic."
1. The End of the Age of Physics
2. The Myth of Infinite Benefit
3. The Myth of Unfettered Research
4. The Myth of Accountability
5. The Myth of Authoritativeness
6. The Myth of the Endless Frontier
7. Pas de Trois: Science, Technology, and the Marketplace
8. Science as a Surrogate for Social Action
9. Toward a New Mythology