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Between Politics and Science
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  • 4 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • Page extent: 232 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.465 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 338.973/06
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: Q127.U6 G87 2000
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Science and state--United States

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521653183 | ISBN-10: 0521653185)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$113.00 (C)

Combining political-economic, sociological, and historical approaches, Professor Guston provides a coherent new framework for analyzing the changing relationship between politics and science in the United States. After World War II, the "social contract for science" assumed that the integrity and productivity of research were automatic; a belief that endured for four decades. But in the 1980s, cases of misconduct in science and flagging economic performance broke the trust between politics and science. New "boundary organizations" were created to mend the relationship between scientists and politicians.


Tables and figures; Abbreviations; Preface; Introduction: making space for science policy; 1. Science policy: structure and boundaries; 2. Understanding the social contract for science; 3. Challenges to the social contract for science; 4. Assuring the integrity of research; 5. Assuring the productivity of research; 6. Between politics and science; Notes; References; Index.

Prize Winner

American Political Science Association: Don K. Price Award


"With the government's current focus on enhancing technology in the wake of September 11th, Guston's book provides a timely framework for review by academicians, researchers, politicians, policymakers and others seeking to advance their causes. . . His vast knowledge of public policy and its enmeshed philosophical component are clearly revealed in this book, which provides the reader with an overview of almost a century of political and scientific interaction." The Journal of Philosophy, Science, and Law

"[O]ffers enormously valuable insights that should become part of the science policy canon." Norman Metzger, Chemical & Engineering News

"This important work provides critical insights into a policy area which often 'disappears' under the weight of leaden case studies unburdened by explicit concepts. . . An excellent piece of intellectual work that is well written and organized." Choice

"Guston's book is a salutary reminder that it is certainly possible to "do" science policy theory and to do it imaginatively. As with any such effort in an undertheorized area, the book raises many questions for the future. . . Between Politics and Science succeeds in creating a much-needed intellectual space for bringing in new resources and exploring such questions." Science, Technology, and Human Values

"With humor and historical detail, Guston takes apart the notion that science policy involves the contamination of science by politics. His argument that the integrity and productivity of science depend on closer working relations with politics is both persuasive and a provocative counterpoint to conventional wisdom about the need for purity in scientific research." Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University

"Between Politics and Science is an outstanding overview of the complex relationship between science and politics in an advanced democracy. Guston reduces this complexity in an engaging style that makes this text essential reading for everyone interested in the future of our increasingly science driven society." Michael M. Crow, Columbia University

"Since politics and science can no longer remain separate spheres, our advanced societies need to invent devices for managing the transactions between them. In his very innovative book, David Guston provides us with a penetrating analysis of these 'boundary organizations' which will guarantee the integrity and the productivity of our scientific institutions." Michel Callon, Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, Ecole des Mines

"As a scientist-turned-legislator, I am continually confronted with the fact that there is little appreciation in government for the nature and methods of scientific research. Also some scientists have an aversion of the methods of politics. Between Politics and Science will lead to a better understanding of how boundary organizations work and how both sides can use them to benefit science and society." Congressman Rush Holt, representative from New Jersey

"David Guston, assistant professor of public policy at Rutgers University in New Jersey, has produced a skilfully argued and provocative formulation of the American experience...a dogged reading yields fresh insights into the complexities of the American experience in the relations between science and government." Nature

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