‘Science is Social Relations’: Some Reflections

Maureen McNeil


With reference to Bob’s work as a whole and to the contemporary setting the ‘Science is social relations article could be characterised as a rich time-capsule which represents many components and features of the British radical science movement of the mid-to-late 70s.  Retrospective perspectives may be fine, but Bob himself presented the essay as an ‘exploratory argument for seeing science as social relations’ (p. 66) and as an ‘exploratory working programme’ (p. 95). His exploration was a transitional exercise which documented the thinking informing his move from being ‘the bright spark’ in history of science and the lauded – if rather controversial- Darwinian scholar, to radical science activist, strategist, and theoretician. It marked his move from contextual studies of the history of ideas and scientific theories to Marxist critiques of science (and as he insisted throughout the piece, of technology and medicine as well).


science, radicalism, Marxism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1234/fa.v0i80.363

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