MICHAEL LYNCH: OK, before we start-- pardon me, I'm Michael Lynch of Cornell-- just a word about today's program. There's a [INAUDIBLE] if you don't have [INAUDIBLE] in front. Just to very quickly go through what we're going to do. We have four sessions plus a lunch break. [INAUDIBLE]. We're going to start. And it's kind of chronological but not quite-- we're going to start with [INAUDIBLE] people who have come back to Cornell four years after having attended the first meeting. No [INAUDIBLE] that session we'll look at. Then we'll have a coffee break at-- we're going to start [INAUDIBLE] a little bit late because we're starting a few minutes late. So we'll have a coffee break about quarter of 11.
And then the next session after that, we'll have two talks-- perspectives on STS. [INAUDIBLE]
--representing different perspectives in clinical features of the society. Then we'll have lunch. Those of you who were yesterday, the lunch will be served-- it'll be [INAUDIBLE] in the next room over here. But we're going to have a panel of editors plus [INAUDIBLE], long time of secretary treasurer [INAUDIBLE] in this room. So grab your [INAUDIBLE] lunch and bring it back here if you want to be participating in those panels or discussion among editors of different journals involved in STS.
And then after lunch, here, of course, we'll have two talks-- Karin Knorr Cetina and Steve Woolgar. And both talks will have discussions. [? Karen ?] Martin will be the discussion in the morning session and [INAUDIBLE] in the afternoon session.
And then finally we're going to talk about the future-- a panel that is led by PhD students from Cornell. They might be RPI. I don't know if there are any-- I think there's [INAUDIBLE] who are here. And that will bring us up to date. Then we can do the future. But all of the panels will be dealing with a mixture of discussions and questions on past of how the society has developed over time and where it's headed.
OK, so this first session has eight panelists who we invited back. We invited some others that weren't able to make it. But they're going to be talking for a brief period of time each-- we'll go in alphabetical order-- talking about what they remembered from the first meeting, how the society has changed, any thoughts they have and vivid reflections they had about that meeting and the trajectory of their own biographies and careers and [INAUDIBLE] itself.
OK, so we're going to start. Talk just a little bit about the inaugural meeting. Yesterday, [INAUDIBLE] presented the program from the first [INAUDIBLE]. Here's a little excerpt of it. Robert Merton is the first president of the society.
And this room was where it was held, although Bruno tells me [INAUDIBLE]
There was always [INAUDIBLE]. If you've been to a [INAUDIBLE] recently, know that there's 25 or more sessions simultaneously. But we're able to get everybody in this room. There was about 300 members of the society, and fewer than half-- about 100 people here during that meeting.
So let's get started. The people in front can't see this too well. [LAUGHTER] So you'll get more information from various speakers today about that meeting. So let's go to the first one, Stuart Blume. This is a picture I got off the website of Stuart, and we have a microphone for you, Stuart.
STUART BLUME: Stay here?
MICHAEL LYNCH: Yes, you can stay here. It's probably easier to stay here, as I trip off this stage. I'm bummed to see pictures [INAUDIBLE] so long. Anyway, it's nice to be back here after 14 years. I guess everybody's sense of how this field is-- how [INAUDIBLE] in and how it has changed since. It's somehow marked by our own personal trajectory, some of the positions from which we viewed what was going on and what was being discussed.
And my own trajectory was perhaps slightly different from most of us here in the sense that in the 1970s I was moving in and out of-- in and out of academia. And at the time of this meeting I was working in the British cabinet office, with the task of coordinating and rationalizing the use being made of social science research by the various government ministries. [INAUDIBLE] this in a sense condition the kinds of things that-- not only the questions I was interested in asking as a researcher, but also my sense of what was going on.
A couple of rather trivial facts about the field before I go on to what I'd actually like to talk about. The first thing disciplinary identities were quite different then. Although there were the institutional-- emerging institutional forms of an STS field, of course nobody talked-- people had not tended to talk of STS, [INAUDIBLE]. I mean, there were some journals. There were some programs in the UK, in the US, in Germany. Journal-- yeah. But most people who participated still held on quite strongly to their disciplinary affiliations or prior disciplinary affiliations. So most people would have, I think, still regarded themselves as geologists, or economists, or a few political scientists-- pretty well no anthropologists at that time.
And the other thing that I remember strikingly-- I mean [INAUDIBLE]-- was that Eastern Europe had very-- had its own distinctive traditions. And I know we must not too much reminisce, because I've learned that that's pretty boring for people who weren't around. But I remember being in a tram in Varna, in Bulgaria, with a Hungarian sociologist who said, why do you in the West never site our work? Of course what you couldn't say is, because it's boring, trivial, empirical research motivated only by planning, and with all the references being to Marx and Lenin.
But it was quite distinct, this sort-- and we used to meet and talk but with totally different objectives. OK. Now, more interesting.
Given my position at that time, somehow between the world of academic STS and government-- and I continued to stay in government for a little while longer-- the thing that I remember, that I would like to use my minutes to talk about, is the kind of expectations being addressed to the field and the kind of aspirations that went along with them.
You have to remember that the mid-1970s were a time in which resources for science and technology were just beginning to level out after ages, a decade or more, of continuing growth-- Derek Price's sort of stuff. And the research that we kind of drew on had largely been about-- much of the research had been concerned with how could you allocate all the extra available money? There was a debate in the journal Minerva about the criteria choice. How could you decide where it was worth investing money in?
Science policy was a much more distinctive and important area of government. Nobody much talks about science policy anymore, I think. But in those days, there was a lot of interest in how one could rationally allocate resources and a sense that to do that, we needed-- or policymakers needed and, indeed, were aware that they needed to try to understand how science changes. What dynamic does it follow?
And even before 1976, in the beginning of the 1970s, there were projects going on about trying to understand the emergence and differentiation of scientific fields. There was a tendency among sociologists and scientists largely to focus on disciplines or fields rather than problems.
I moved, a little while after this, to Amsterdam. And we started a new department called Science Dynamics, in which we were trying to balance two sorts of concerns. On the one hand-- and this was spelled out to me when I arrived there by the chair of the government science policy advisory committee. We expect you, he said, we expect you to provide us with the insights into how science evolves that we need as an intellectual basis for policy making or policy advice.
And on the other hand, a very different normative commitment, because that Amsterdam department, quite unlike the ones in the UK that I knew or, I think, the ones in the US, had very much emerged out of the student movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The people who set it up and who invited me there had all been student politicians active in the student movement, inspired by all the counter-cultural heroes of those days, [INAUDIBLE] and all others.
So there was a concern. So the question really was, what kind of understanding of science do we need in order to steer research science and technology in socially desirable directions? So what kinds of theories ought we to try to articulate and evolve, that would focus at that macro level?
And there was a decision in Amsterdam to not do the kind of micro-level ethnographic studies that some of my colleagues are famous for-- quite rightly, of course. So we decided we would focus at the level that would enable us to address this question of the changing dynamic of science and technology and the ways in which-- the scope for influencing this dynamic in ways that corresponded in some sort of way to what appeared to us to be socially desirable.
And I suppose the nearest to a theoretical perspective-- I mean, probably the most influential theoretical perspective for us at that time was one that you don't hear much about these days. Does anybody of you, other than those of my generation, remember the Finalization Thesis of the Starnberger group?
MICHAEL LYNCH: Yes.
STUART BLUME: Yeah, I knew you.
But I wonder if any of the present or future generation have ever heard of them? How many have?
MICHAEL LYNCH: It sounds like a good question for comps.
STUART BLUME: [LAUGHS] Well, it was an idea that sciences reach a sort of intellectual maturity, at which point they become open to steering by various policy instruments. So this is what we tried. I mean, this was my sense of the field at that time. I was very aware of these kind of extern-- perhaps because of my position, first having been in government, working as a consultant for the OECD, and then trying to set up a new department-- very aware of the kind of expectations being addressed to our field at that time, in a way that, I think, if I had been purely in university, I might have been less aware.
And they-- yeah. I think-- of course, there's a whole lot to be said about what's changed since then. But I think it's significant that almost nobody in tomorrow's generation or today's generation-- and we're yesterday. It's not going to-- has heard of this theoretical perspective that, for us, was so influential at that time. I think that may be enough for now, Mike.
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK. Thank you, Stuart.
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK. Robert Bud will be our next speaker. And then, I'm going to switch to a [INAUDIBLE].
ROBERT BUD: OK. Yeah, you'll switch to my slides. And then [INAUDIBLE].
MICHAEL LYNCH: Do you [INAUDIBLE] slide?
ROBERT BUD: No.
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK. Are you explaining this? If you're going to explain--
ROBERT BUD: Yes. I'm a curator at the Science Museum in London. To show how long ago we're talking about, this is me as a curator at about this-- bit later. About 1980-- receiving the first scientific instruments being used in ammonia synthesis, from the man who set it up.
And these instruments were intended to be used in setting up a plant. And then you'd take them away, because once you knew what a plant was running like, you didn't need any more instruments. Did you? And then, they discovered that actually you did, that these things were constantly unstable.
So these are from the first-- this is for measuring pressure, from the first ammonia synthesis plant, about 1924. And the man on the left was the engineer who built it 50 years previously, and now almost 100 years ago. Yeah. OK. That's ancient history.
I'm a representative of a path not taken. My own background had been that I had been one of the first students in a new department of science studies at Manchester, one of the three departments set up in Britain in the late '60s. And my teachers there-- it was a very exciting place with people like Michael Gibbons. [? Gary ?] [? Ravitch ?] was next door. Richard [? Whitley ?] was in the university.
Science studies was a fascinating but curiously handwaving subject with very little detail. And what I was interested in was getting some more sense of specificity. And I spoke to my professor. And he said, ah, yes. There's a good guy in America, a young mate, Thackray. And I went to University of Pennsylvania for graduate school.
And in graduate school, I learned about the instability of history of science. History of science in those days was dominated by Newtonian studies-- maybe 18th century. There was hardly a single paper in Isis dealing with the 20th century. And I mean not-- the only paper in 1974 dealing with 20th century was actually by Arnold Thackray, talking about George [INAUDIBLE]. So by the late '70s, 20th century was not there.
Now, to give you a sense of the atmosphere, I've got a quote-- extract from the meeting of 1974 at the History of Science Society. This was the 50th anniversary meeting, held as a celebration-- 50 years of a great society. And instead of this celebration of achievement, it was a very bitter and acrimonious affair attended as-- I was a graduate student.
And the acrimony hung around, what do we do about the 20th century? This is a talk by George Basalla, which I've brought. And he says, history of science is going nowhere. And science studies is no benefit at all. "--generate dreary, unimagined defenses of the status quo in government, science, and society. The history of science is not likely to receive a regeneration from that source."
And he goes on to say, the history of science is dull and boundless. It is a waste of time. That was George Basalla, one of the establishment figures. Unfortunately, you can't see the bottom of the slide.
I don't know if you can move-- this is Derek Price responding. Derek Price responds, "After some 20 years of watching the growth and professionalization of our field, I find myself appalled by such a dogmatic and normative view as that expressed in the above observations." Now, you don't normally hear that at celebration meetings.
And that gives you a feel for how the historians of science-- and these people were roughly on the same side, I should say. Derek Price was also interested in the 20th century. He was most proud of being quoted by the East Europeans, as Stewart has said, at the citation saying Price and Lenin, not Lenin and Price.
ROBERT BUD: He was also a very acerbic person. A year later, in the-- I happened to be in San Francisco visiting my girlfriend. And we were-- I was invited by Arnold to a meeting in a hotel in San Francisco, which was talking about the future of all this science stuff. And there, I found some of the people from last year. There was Arnold Thackray, Derek Price, Joseph Ben-David, and Robert Merton. And they were talking about setting up a new society. And it was quite clear that this was an association of the historians of science with the sociologists.
And Arnold wrote-- I wrote to Arnold about this recently. And you can see, at the bottom, this is a quote from his email. Some of it, I don't quote because it was not for public consumption, being so aggressive. "--4S idea, driven by the larger mass of restless sociologists. No surprise, eventually it went the direction it did. It's actual formation was a brokered marriage of convenience." And in a way, that's what was the intent-- was that the historians wanted to marry the sociologists.
And this made sense at a time when the best history of science of the 20th century was being done by sociologists. And I point to the work of Nick Mullins, who is regrettably no longer with us, on the [? Fage ?] group. And if there was one kind of modern history of science, which you could point to that people like me wanted to do, was Nick Mullins' [? Fage ?] Group paper. It was both theoretically rich and empirically detailed.
And it was that sort of work which it was hoped, by the graduate students who I associated with, would be facilitated by historians who would then emigrate from HSS and join this new, conveniently-sized society of 200 or 300 people. Of course, that's-- and in a way, that's what happened at the first meeting. And I think it's on the web and maybe will be shown later-- the proceedings of the first meeting, which did feature, indeed, Ben-David and Arnold Thackray and Derek Price way up in the program. But of course, that's not what happened.
Partly, as Arnold said, the sociologists were far more numerous. Partly, History of Science Society became an-- was taken over by the modern-- Arnold became editor of Isis. And so History of Science changed to a certain extent, though has always been uncomfortable about this tension and continues to be uncomfortable about the relationship between the 17th century the 20th.
I, myself, tried to continue to steer a path between these two, working on subjects such as biotechnology and penicillin history. And most recently, I'm working on the idea of applied science, which was a topic which I was firmly told didn't exist, and there was no such thing as applied science, only to find that I kept reading about this non-existent beast all the time. And so I'm trying, now, to work on the history of something that doesn't exist.
But these sort of issues, already at the time, seemed to be what would be the stuff of 4S. And in a way, the resistance of the historians to join in the club was a great disappointment and meant that in many ways, that the synthesis that might have been hoped for didn't really occur. OK. Thank you.
MICHAEL LYNCH: [INAUDIBLE] Gieryn. Or I guess [INAUDIBLE].
THOMAS GIERYN: I shudder to think what you're going to put up there after [INAUDIBLE].
MICHAEL LYNCH: Just what you gave me.
THOMAS GIERYN: So.
MICHAEL LYNCH: One thing about these photos is that nobody was able to get the photos from the event in 1976. And so we stimulated that event by taking photos from around that era that people sent in. So I think this is from about 1980, this [INAUDIBLE] picture that I [INAUDIBLE] Photoshopped.
THOMAS GIERYN: I came to Ithaca, to the meeting, as a graduate student at Columbia. I carried Robert Merton's bags.
And I'm convinced now that there was some heavy use of illegal drugs, because I don't remember a damn thing about that meeting. But fortunately I was given the opportunity to offload my immediate reactions. Somebody invited me and Harry Collins and Dot Nelkin to prepare synopses of the first meeting.
We wrote these separately. And they appeared in the issue number 1 1977, of the 4S newsletter. And it remains my most-cited publication. The interesting thing about this synopsis that I wrote is that it's really not me. This is really as close as we're going to get to a Robert Merton thought about the first annual meeting.
Nothing that I wrote while I was a graduate student working with Merton went out before he had bathed it in red ink. He was the consummate editor. He ripped everything I wrote-- ripped it up, substantively and stylistically-- and I still bear the scars of all of that.
But I, for example, never would have come up with a quotation from Alexander Pope-- an essay on man that said-- this was about the meeting-- "all discord, harmony not understood." And that's a point that Robert mentioned. It was disputatious. And I want to come back to that at the very end.
But I want to go through and just pull out a couple of highlights from my synopsis, that will try to take you back and also take you back forward to the present. Merton was obsessed with the idea of the self-exemplifying quality of the sociology of science. And it was always sociology of science, back then. So I wrote at the beginning-- or he did-- the self-exemplifying character of the conference is a prominent memory of three packed days. Our actions in Ithaca provided many examples of our ideas about such occasions.
It's not a really terrific idea. But it's just, you know, if we're studying science and scholarship, and we're doing it, then what we find should be reflected in what we are. I should add that this is the most mild, the weakest form of reflexivity that I can imagine, because he was referring more to the social organization of an event like the beginning of 4S, which was like the beginning of a society in physics or chemistry.
It was nothing like the reflexivity we eventually got to a few years later, in the form of a series of breaching experiments with authorial voice. This was serious reflexivity. The effort was to play around with notions of authorship as a way of getting into taken-for-granted assumptions about what constitutes authorship in a scientific paper.
That fully, full-bodied reflexivity-- I'm looking at Steve and a few others-- led to such famous papers as one authored by Trevor [INAUDIBLE] and Trevor Pinch-- and it remains both of their most-cited paper, I think-- and another paper by Jim Johnson, that had a decidedly Parisian air about it. That was serious reflexivity-- a definite problem-- and was much more interesting than what Merton provided.
In my synopsis, Bruno does in fact have pride of place because he's the first that I mentioned. With a capital T that Sheila noted. And I write this, "Bruno LaTour's informatively amusing paper--" and I'll stop there, because those were very kind words. And I think I must've fought Merton off, because his words were rather unkind about what Bruno had to say. But anyway, "--informatively amusing paper, caricaturing science as a battlefield populated by researchers armed with normatively-prescribed modes of ammunition."
Now, I don't believe-- I've read most-- and heard Bruno talk-- and I don't think I've ever heard him say normatively-prescribed. This is Merton. I mean, you know, this is kudos. And I think that he really insisted that I include Bruno in his project by suggesting that however the battles were fought, they were fought in a normatively-appropriate way.
I noted a number of the-- and I'm not going to repeat the fault lines that others will pick up. But I do want to pick up one. One of the fault lines was that between people who looked at science as a social thing and people who looked at science as a cognitive thing-- the social organization of science and somehow the knowledge production and the structure of knowledge.
And the line I'm about to read is really interesting because it gives you insight into our founder-- the founder of the field, the founder of 4S, and my teacher. This was his MO for dealing with views that-- new views, different views than his. So bear in mind, Merton is associated with those people who looked at the social organization of science and not about knowledge, such knowledge production. But the latter was very much on the agenda here in Ithaca in '76.
So this is what I write. Or we wrote. Or he wrote. "One subset of participants criticized another subset for its assumed failure to consider the substantive cognitive structure of science while studying the social structure of science." This is RKM. "It might have been of interest to reexamine writings in the sociology of science of three or four decades ago to note their programmatic emphasis on the intersection-- interaction, sorry-- between cognitive and social structures and the occasional studies of such interactions."
You saw what he just did, or what he just made me do? He's establishing priority-- another Mertonian idea-- for this idea that sociologists could in fact study the content of scientific knowledge. That was very much.
The last point that I'll pull out-- Mike, don't get nervous. I had to-- since I didn't give a paper. I wasn't asked-- I had to get my own stuff in there somewhere. So I noted that the problem of problem choice in science was definitely under-examined by people at the Ithaca meeting. Now that was strategic, because it was the study-- the topic of my own damn and forgettable dissertation at Columbia, which was called Patterns in the Selection of Problems for Research, American Astronomers 1950 to 1975. Not one of my most cited publications.
But I did note-- and then I returned to this same self-exemplifying point-- that what's interesting is to think sociologically about how we, as STS people, choose problems. And I made some references to Karin's work. This is not the Karin Knorr that we've come to love. But anyway, she'll talk about her own contribution, I hope.
I want to end on a note kind of where I began, with Alexander Pope and the conflict. My sense is that, as the number of practitioners of STS has grown, so has its niceness. I think we are much nicer to each other now than we might have been back then. There are certain good things about that. I do think it's progress if there's an increase in civility and respect and so forth.
But something has been lost. And it is precisely the fact that starting from the Ithaca meeting, and going for a long time while it was still a group that was relatively small, you had to engage face-to-face with people who had fundamentally different assumptions about the enterprise. You were forced to defend. You were forced to argue why your sense of STS-- why you did it. You were called to justify.
And I sense that's missing, partly lost in the fact that there are 2,500 papers at a meeting. We don't have the occasion to be forced to confront each other's differences. And I mean that intellectually. And I think that's something to be lost. And I hope it can be retained, regained in the future of this society.
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK. [INAUDIBLE].
ROBERT BUD: I wanted to make a comment [INAUDIBLE].
Now, we were talking-- I talked about discipline. But Thomas talked about what really mattered to Merton. And in a way, what was being-- people had the hubris to think they were doing-- was talking about the nature of civilization. We're talking about the core component.
And there was a lot at stake. And it wasn't just people's job titles or departments. It was really felt we were talking for the first time about really big things. And that's perhaps why the atmosphere was so aggressive. It was an extension of the politics of the Vietnam War.
MICHAEL LYNCH: Ed. Ed [INAUDIBLE] is our next speaker.
ED HACKETT: I'm going to try to stand up if I can do this without--
MICHAEL LYNCH: Stand here if you want.
ED HACKETT: Thanks. This way I can see you all, which makes it a lot less weird than sitting down there. Well, thanks for the opportunity to do this. Thank you folks for coming.
I really would have loved to offer you crystalline memories of my wonderful contributions to the first 4S meeting, but I was actually quite peripheral. With Tom, my major contribution was to carry programs and the proceedings of the conference. Did you see that? It's in two volumes. They were probably a total of about three inches thick, all the papers that were presented. So carrying them from [? Bewers ?] hall over here was my contribution.
But I'll say some other things that may be interesting. So three things I'd like to address. One is, how did the meetings end up to be here at Cornell? What did I find when I got here? And then, what does it all mean?
So the meetings were here at Cornell through the efforts of Bob McGinnis, a sociologist of science-- a mathematical sociologist-- and an institution builder. Bob was really an explicit builder and maker of things. And he was president of the Cornell faculty council or faculty senate for a while. He created the Cornell Institute for Social Economic Research, which sits on the south edge of campus.
And when I was a graduate student, he had three grants for science studies that he amalgamated into the Social Analyses of Science Systems program, which was one of the four Balkanized corners of the Soc Department. So he had an NIH grant, and NSF grant, and an NIMH training grant that fed us all. So he had this institutional infrastructure that he parlayed into a hosting opportunity. And that's what brought the meetings here, I think, was his efforts. He was the first Wes Shrum of 4S. He was the secretary treasurer when it was formed.
So the fall of '76 finds me a fourth-year graduate student. I just passed my comps in social organization, social stratification, research methodology. I took a couple of courses in science from the Balkanized science studies folks on campus, Jerry Gordon in ILR, Will [? Prova ?] in history, Dorothy Nelkin here. They didn't coalesce. These were distinct fiefdoms on our campus. And if they'd only drawn together, I think we would have had a much more powerful beginning.
But I didn't know much of anything about science studies. So I was just an observer, trying to figure out what was going on. But this is an interesting reminiscence that some of you may find in your own autobiographies. So how did I drift back and forth, in and out? I only discovered this about eight years ago. I was invited back to Colgate to one of their Friday science seminars. And I pulled out of my bookshelf this 2 and 3/4 inch thick book of readings that I had marked, History of Science.
It turns out, first semester, freshman year, intending to be a science major, I was allowed to take this new course called Core 100, which was about theories and theory development in science. It was taught by Fred [? Dwyer, ?] a biologist who had spent a sabbatical year at Harvard, where he picked up the science studies bug from [? Holton, ?] Emmanuel [? Nesthony, ?] and some others there. And let me read you a bit from the forward to the student. Understand that this is sitting in my subconscious someplace. This is fall of 1969.
"What is this mysterious power which science seems to have? Will the scientists of the future be the high priests of our society, who in their omniscience, will tell us just what we can and cannot do, or what we must or must not think? Or the other extreme-- are they the personifications of evil, who will ultimately destroy the human race? Few Colgate students will entertain as extreme views as these."
Now, this is the good part-- "Yet there still are widespread misconceptions of science, which every educated person should be able to dispel if he understands what science is. He is inclined to think of science as the facts, the formulas, the graphs, and the theories by which we build our machines, explain the past, or predict the future. But this is a very narrow view, for the facts, formulas, and theories are all the result of human underscore activity, activity of people underscore called scientists. How does the activity produce the results? The course is designed to probe the scientific enterprise in order to divulge its fundamental nature to determine its scope, reliability, and limits."
So without knowing anything about it, I stumbled into an STS course my first semester, as a freshman, in the fall of '69. And it sat there in the bottom of my consciousness for years as I focused on peace studies and social stratification research methods. And then with the opportunity of founding science studies in the good offices of Daryl Chubin, who was a major force in organizing the meetings, Ken Studer, my colleagues Scott Long and Carl Backman, I was drawn into science studies. And when I came to the first meeting trying to figure out what this thing was about, it was echoing that.
So what did I find when I got there? So it's comical, but my sharpest memories are of Derek Price darting everywhere. And Everett Mendelsohn-- I've never seen people think or move as fast as these guys did. They had something to say about everything-- constant motion. And Robert Merton was everywhere in the discourse, always there as a foil. I cannot tell you that I knowingly lay eyes on the guy. He was here, there, and everywhere, but not as physically present as the other two. And then there was GM [INAUDIBLE], one of the visitors from the Soviet Union.
You may not know this, but the 4S meeting was not just the 4S meeting. It was a compound meeting-- three days-- two days devoted to 4S, one day to the International Sociological Association committee on sociology of science. So that's also why it was international and sociology interviews. It had this international and sociology component to draw folks in.
So this guy, GM [INAUDIBLE], who sat right about there, would almost always premise his comments with, [INAUDIBLE] in this deep, rich voice. And then he'd be waving and gesturing and standing up. Those are really the only physical memories that remain.
So I actually re-read the papers to figure out what I missed. So the spectrum of topics is broad. It's our field, sketched. There's a lot of mapping and staking out of territory, which is where the conflicts come. Disciplinary sociology and Merton are everywhere, and so is the connection to science policy.
And what's interesting is not long after this is born, the science metrics movement-- science and engineering indicators-- had begun, I think. Susan, correct me, but '74, I think. The '76 volume-- or maybe '72-- the '76 volume, Bob chaired a National Research Council committee to evaluate. And the idea was to measure and manipulate science.
Fast forward to 2005. Jack Marburger, the president's science advisor, is telling the AAAS that he wishes he could have metrics of science and levers to control the innovation system that would give him-- 2005-- the same control of the innovation system that the chair of the Federal Reserve Board has of the economy. Yeah, you know how that worked out.
Anyway, so the papers-- just some high points-- there was a paper about the social and cognitive factors influencing the international transfer of scientific knowledge. I'm saying, oh boy, north-south transfers. It turns out that the transfers were to Ireland. Sal Restivo, I got you. Problems and Prospects in the Needham Paradigm. I thought you didn't use that word. But we got you in print.
Bruno, a quotology? Really? And so we invented a science quotology, that he attributed to the citations and co-citations and said, "All scholars have to agree that citations are an outstanding characteristic of a scientific article." But that you "must also agree that other characteristics, too often, are overlooked." I think this might-- and one of the things overlooked are non-citations, Bruno points out-- things that we ignore when we cite other things. I think that might have been our first example of a present absence.
Arnold Thackray noted the role of journals and newsletters and conferences and guides and others in the development of a research area. It's like our first argument for social, intellectual science movements. And then he asks the fundamental question of our field-- how, if at all, ideas and social structures inosculate. That sent me to the dictionary. "Inosculate." So we're really the Society of Inosculation.
We talked about the Heroic Age. And Alexander [? Zalle ?] warned us that we should let go of the idea of focused work on science that we were doing, in terms of the social, economic, organizational, and operational aspects of research as organized activity.
So again, what left me fascinated by re-reading these papers was how they really broadly sketched the work that we have done in the decades that followed. And so there was a great deal of prescience along with the heat and energy in the room that year. Thanks.
MICHAEL LYNCH: Our next speaker is Karin Knorr Cetina, currently at the University of Chicago. And this is her from the '70s. And that's with Trevor Pinch and the late Donald Campbell.
KARIN KNORR CETINA: I look like Steve [INAUDIBLE] looked. So thank you very much for inviting me. I have to say--
MICHAEL LYNCH: Mic, Karin. [INAUDIBLE].
KARIN KNORR CETINA: The mic needs to go up here. And I have to say that I'm pleased to be here. And I'm as excited about science studies as I was at the time when I joined the meeting, although I never dreamed I would be here in 40 years. And say that I want to add one item to the historical reconstructions we've heard.
In 1976, I came from Vienna, where I was at the Institute for Advanced Study. And I had a sabbatical year, went to Berkeley. And so Vienna is a great city, actually. Those who know it will know that it's very safe. It's very interesting, culturally. It's hip. But it was hip at the time in a classical sense, so very oriented to classical music, to classical theater, to things like that. And it was not looking forward that much.
But in Vienna, at the Institute for Advanced Study, and in Germany, and in England at the time, there was something called the fight over positivism. There were constant debates and a number of meetings-- one was actually in Alpbach, which is a wonderful, mountain, little village in Austria-- where many of the philosophers got together and talked about the distinction between the natural sciences and social sciences, and if there was a distinction or there was not a distinction, and how to understand these sciences.
Habermas was important at the time. He'd written a book where the basic thesis was that the natural sciences were doing instrumental things that were useful. And the human sciences were doing something like talk therapy. So communication was very important in the human sciences. And this was part of the discussion.
But also Lakatos, who was a student of Popper, who looked at the progress in science and had certain thoughts about it. And Kuhn had already written, in 1962, his Theory of Scientific Revolutions, which was part of this discussion. So we had these discussions in several countries, Germany, Austria, England.
And at the time, I had a friend who was sort of a social misfit. But he was intellectually very interested in science. And we talked all the time about the status of science.
We also had Helga [INAUDIBLE] at the Institute for Advanced Studies. She was my department head there. And she did a six-country study on scientists and organizations. And I took over from her and did the Austrian part of this six-country study.
So steeped in these philosophical, really-- it was not sociological-- philosophical discussions, one thing that came up is the question, if we are talking about the nature of these different sciences, why not study that empirically? And if you are brainwashed by philosophy, it sounds like a crazy idea. You don't believe in it. You think after all, scientists-- I thought, literally, scientists think. And I can't watch thinking as an observer. As an ethnographer, how would I study that?
And so I was hesitant about that but still decided to use the sabbatical year in Berkeley to try and do that, to do just that, to look at science in practice. And so the things that happened to me in Berkeley were-- there were really three wonderful things. The first was Berkeley, because it was a crazy enough environment to do crazy things-- I mean, crazy if you come from middle Europe. I had the impression it was so optimistic, if you wish. People didn't look at each other. You could marry a horse and nobody would notice.
So I sort of married a horse by starting a lab study. Because I thought I could go undercover. And it wouldn't-- it was surely going to fail. But nobody would notice. So Berkeley was important. Of course, also, the University of California, Berkeley, where interesting things were going on. And I was affiliated with it.
And then, I discovered that one could do a lab study. The first time I went into a lab to try and test out my crazy ideas, I was hooked. Because I saw it was an action system. And there was nothing that a sociologist couldn't look at, and protocol, and ethnograph.
And I liked the idea of doing an ethnography, because the six-country study in Europe was a quantitative study of scientists and organizations, had [INAUDIBLE] correlations of 0.3, which is nothing natural scientists would even look at. It explains only 9% of the variance. And I was married to a natural scientist at the time. So that study really frustrated me.
Also, I tried to do my best to the risk-level models, and regression analysis, and God knows what. And I got some publishable results. But I didn't believe them. I couldn't explain them. So I wanted to do ethnography. And I discovered one could do it.
And then I discovered 4S. I came to the 4S, to the society's meeting, in the fall of '76, and not knowing who I would meet there, other than that the established sociology of science would be there. And I wanted to meet some of them. I hadn't met them. I had Merton but no one else. And so the meeting was exciting for me even before I came here but proved to be even more exciting once I was here.
And why was that? It had a sort of atmosphere around it which was foundational for something new. And of course, some people contributed to it. One of the things that happened at the meeting is that I met Bruno LaTour. And we started talking. And suddenly the idea of doing the sort of things I wanted to do in Berkeley no longer seemed impossible. Because I think, Bruno, you had already embarked on your study. And whether you reported on it in your talk or not, you talked about it.
And we set up some sort of a relationship and met several times. We met in Berkeley and we met in San Diego. And so I found, in this society, some sort of a portable environment. From then on, it was the context I could go back to, I could carry with me, and which was there wherever you were and whatever the situation at a particular university was. And in that sense, the society became very meaningful.
Also, looking at Sal, you were there. And we started talking. So there were a number of people at that meeting, including Tom Gieryn, with whom we started at least talking, I think, who did want to do something else, who did want to do something that I would formulate as taking the questions from philosophy and run and work with them empirically.
And that was the beginning. We didn't have the results. We hadn't finished a study. But it was possible to identify the people here who were interested in something else, something beyond the Mertonian, institutional, normative, et cetera paradigm. And something, of course against philosophy-- not just beyond philosophy, but sort of against philosophy-- to try and come up with empirical results on questions they have posed in their philosophical idiom. So you are staring at me. I should stop here.
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK.
KARIN KNORR CETINA: Thank you very much.
MICHAEL LYNCH: Bruno, what--
KARIN KNORR CETINA: Oh, it's Bruno. Yes.
BRUNO LATOUR: [INAUDIBLE]
MICHAEL LYNCH: Again.
BRUNO LATOUR: So I'm renowned researcher. I'm only 25 and living in San Diego, coming from a completely different genealogy, coming from Africa and anthropology and applying method which I thought I invented, a field of [INAUDIBLE]. I knew nothing about Merton and no [INAUDIBLE]
--American scene, at the time. And the gentlemen here were [INAUDIBLE] I found in the science [INAUDIBLE] meeting in Berkeley, in August '76, as Steve said, where sociology of science was being discussed. So I probably do know why this meeting was being in Berkeley. And I think I did a precursor of the 4S meeting a few months previous. And that's where I met Steve and I met [INAUDIBLE] people. And I realized there was a complete field of [INAUDIBLE], sociology of science, I did not know about. But and I met Karin, and I met a lot of other people. And I felt-- Harry Collins. I already met Trevor and Harry whom I'm thinking [INAUDIBLE].
Anyway, I don't want to reminisce because one thing I remember, which actually Tom mentioned, is that it was very-- the only idea I had-- which is for young kids, was to get rid of all these old guys. I mean, they were almost 40 and 50. And we hated the guts out of them. And we wanted to push all of them in the Lake Cayuga. And [INAUDIBLE]. So here I am now. I'm 70 and probably the same thing will happen to me. But [INAUDIBLE].
So we hated these people. And we also hated this idea that we were back to the completely boring difference between sociology and cognitive dimension, because, precisely as you said, we wanted to get out of that altogether, by new method we try, ethnography. And as we made [INAUDIBLE] the field, I think-- actually, I always say to my students, it's very difficult to talk to people who are not STS. And I've found that there is a gap. It's almost impossible to talk because knowledge, for them, is somewhere in the air. Or it's something which is fused with the word "known," with the object known.
And I think they [INAUDIBLE] said [INAUDIBLE] and worth mentioning yesterday by [INAUDIBLE], I think it's very important that the set of skills with foreground of practice and diffusion and activity of scientific knowledge which is unique and has actually immensity contribute many fields, scientology literature studies, anthropology, of course, not so much social and political sciences. And there is an STS element everywhere now, [INAUDIBLE] knowledge is actually foregrounded instead of being just taken from under those [INAUDIBLE]. And I think [INAUDIBLE].
Now, of course, things have changed a lot. And three things have changed a lot, I think. One of them is that we are studying science with not a critical or a debunking mood but I think we were trying to counteract the positivism dimension at the time. And in the last 40 years, we have been now basically defending science against a multiplicity of attack.
One of them by the [INAUDIBLE] view of determination about scientific knowledge, but also because of a massacre of pseudo-controversies coming in everywhere. So I find myself-- and I don't know if you [INAUDIBLE] but completely without doing the same work I'm still [INAUDIBLE] scientist actually some here in common. And now instead of being studying [INAUDIBLE] after the fact, we are actually working with them and trying to make sense of the difficulty we have just to make that science work. Which I think is a big change in the first years we were supposed and we were accused, some of us, of being social work activists. Remember?
I haven't heard that accusation for the last 10 years, now, with the scientist I study. Have you heard that? I mean, are you still accused of being [INAUDIBLE]? I mean, completely different, now saying, you say, well, we are so much accused by everybody of being [INAUDIBLE], of being unable to produce knowledge, as we actually welcome your contribution [INAUDIBLE] of a change.
The second thing which is very massive of course, is that many of the things we were discussing at the time, like there is a relation between society and science. It was very different between fact and value that could be actually renegotiated in many different ways, is now massively understood by everybody under the name [INAUDIBLE]. It's a simplification. It's a disputed term, but it's basically "duh" for the general public and for many believe our field a large part of what we were doing. I don't think it would make any sense now to say there is a link between science and society and the way people are actually organizing their life.
People [INAUDIBLE] are interested in Congress [INAUDIBLE] you are interested in the global warming question which I am, by the way. So [INAUDIBLE], because we don't have to lose any time, I've found, in saying there is a connection between fact and society, industry and the way we live. It's taken for granted now. What to do with it is the big point.
The third point which was alluded to the road not taken, is the quantitative aspect. Actually, my thinking at the time was I forget [INAUDIBLE] anymore but you remember, Michael. It was about a citation. And at the time, I had the idea.
And then, when I met [INAUDIBLE] they were [INAUDIBLE] when I came back from precisely. We had this idea that quantitative and qualitative method would be actually merged. ideologic work. And I never managed to do any quantitative study myself. But that's a road not taken which is a great pity, because now we do have the digital masses of data where the notion of a quali--quantitative inquiring is now much more feasible. And I think that is one of the things-- I created the Médialab de Sciences Po precisely for that.
And I think that's a thing which has been abandoned from the 4S [INAUDIBLE]. I've missed some of them. But and I think it's a great pity because now we can talk again, not only with scientist but with lots of people, using type of data which are not completely incomparable unrelated to what they do. So there is a sort of common big data, big digital data ground, which I think is of great interest to share with many scientists.
I also, as you remember, that we did [INAUDIBLE]. But we also-- and that's me a few years later when I was at Ecole [INAUDIBLE] in Paris we are very interested in policy as well. So before the Catholic view of the forest, which included quantitative method, [INAUDIBLE] study, ethnographic method, and history and [INAUDIBLE] of science is one thing, basically. We never really realized that because in fact we never managed to [INAUDIBLE] in the school of [INAUDIBLE].
And the last thing I think we did [INAUDIBLE]
And we did another theme on the science studies, which we learned from Harry Collin and probably [INAUDIBLE] of course, and controversy was familiar to, and still is-- I have a big [INAUDIBLE] controversy happening in my school-- still [INAUDIBLE] one of these word which [INAUDIBLE] relate to many of the independent friends of the field of STS to which I've been completely loyal.
[INAUDIBLE] probably is not social studies of science, but it is something like social advancement of science or something like that. In time of very strong controversies about the way you inhabit the earth, so it has expanded rapidly, and we have been I think extremely fortunate because the immense wave of the [? Anthropocene ?] has sort of taken off. But we were there already, so to speak. And it's very striking to hear the number of fields in science, inside the sciences, where STS people actually have just the right training for getting into this mass of controversies that we are going to have to get into with change of earth, so to speak, [INAUDIBLE] landing on a different earth than we have witnessed.
So [INAUDIBLE] STS was immensely-- but we are right. And I think that is why it's not exactly probably the decision is not to get rid of all the people above 40 or 50 and get rid of them, I believe. We just were right. This was exactly the thing to do in 1970. It was exactly that. We had to make [INAUDIBLE] empirically studiable foregrounded for preparing ourselves what was going to happen, which of course, we see now. Thank you.
Sal is next, Mike.
MICHAEL LYNCH: Yes. Sal. Yes. Sal Restivo.
SAL RESTIVO: That guy walked up the seven flights. [INAUDIBLE]. So to paraphrase Monty Python, now for somebody completely different.
In the fall of 1975, Nick Mullins called me to invite me to join a group of historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science who were going to organize what was to become 4S. My first thought as I hung up the phone was, how the hell does Nick Mullins know who I am? I'd been hanging around with Marxists, socialists, and anarchists of all persuasions. I was active in the Science for the People and Radical Science movements. I found the Marxists, especially, very dogmatic. So 4S was really a breath of fresh air.
One of the most notable things about that meeting for me-- this was not the room we met in. I mean, it was this room, but we had seats, right?
ROBERT BUD: I think we had a bigger room.
SAL RESTIVO: Bigger room. Maybe it wasn't even the same room. Anyway, but right down in the front here, I ran into Derek Price. You couldn't-- you'd just sort of bump into people. So I introduced myself. And Derek Price said, oh, of course. I know who you are. And I thought, how the hell does Derek Price know who I am?
I don't know if Karen had any idea who I was, but our friendship began biblically at that meeting, when after the panel broke up-- that we were on-- she offered me a bite of the apple she was eating. Being the idiot I could be in such circumstances, I said, no thanks. In this room 40 years ago, east met west. Policy, theory, and research intermingled easily. The east was represented, among others, by the larger-than-life Alexander [? Zalle ?] from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and his colleague [? Jonas ?] [? Feargus. ?] The presenters ranged from Bruno, setting the foundations in a very subterranean way for active network theory with his usual wit and insight to Maria [? Noacosta's ?] paper-- she was from the Polish academy-- who anesthetized us with slides completely covered with equations.
But the most notable presence at the meeting wasn't in Ithaca. It was in Edinburgh. A copy of David Bloor's recently published Knowledge and Social Imagery was being passed around during and between the talks and causing a lot of chatter. And there were moments behind the closed men's room door when Americans looked into the mirror and practiced saying "con-TRA-versy."
For at least the first five years of this society, it was touch and go whether we would survive until the next year. STS has always had a problem sustaining an identity. And this was reflected early on when members and outsiders alike kept referring to the Society for the Social Studies of Science. And nobody was more troubled by this than yours truly and David [? Edge. ?] And we did everything we could to straighten people out.
Use of 4S helped us stop the mangling. But thankfully, not the multiple, complementary, and conflicting paths we continue to travel as colleagues. In 2004, Steve Woolgar said, we need to understand the dynamics whereby the disobedience fostered by STS can flourish and persist. I've never been certain I've understood anything Steve has said. He's this master of skepticism and irony. But there are not too many ways you can twist the term disobedience, even though he put it in quotes.
As a once and always advocate of what Randy Collins calls the sociological cogito, one might say that in the way psychology was Freud's target, sociology has been my target. And I've been, to paraphrase Freud, tormented by the goal of examining what shape the hard cases of mathematics, logics, brains, and gods might take if one considered them in terms of the sociological cogito.
As a result, I provoked Barry Barnes to ask me, Sal, why are you so sociological? And historian Nils Roll-Hansen who asked me over Guinness-- many Guinnesses-- why my sociology of mathematics wasn't an exercise in sociological reductionism. And Bruno long ago, already on a nebulous social path to metaphysics explained to me why my Draconian Marxism couldn't contribute to his agenda.
From the very beginning, sociology has been overshadowed by [INAUDIBLE] methodology, and philosophical discourse, and a greater focus on psychology and environment than on scientific knowledge per se. Clearly, significant pathways in STS have been paved by advocates of the end of the social, who suffer from [INAUDIBLE], social blindness spectrum disorder. For a variety of reasons, including a preference for philosophical discourse and a pervasive cult of the individual, sociology has never been on the ascendance in STS.
For all of that, I'm pleased to find that I still have a voice in this field, a voice that will manifest itself one last time-- I promise-- in 2017, with the publication of Sociology, Science, and the End of Philosophy, How Society Shapes Brains, Gods, Maths, and Logics, to be published by Palgrave, and The Age of the Social, to be published by Routledge. Differences aside, and side by side, we've all come a long way since 1976. And we fundamentally changed the ways we can understand science and technology.
THOMAS GIERYN: Peter Richardson, isn't it? He was a philosopher-- the guy on the left?
MICHAEL LYNCH: [INAUDIBLE]
THOMAS GIERYN: That you-- Peter Richardson? He was probably an evolutionary epistemologist.
SAL RESTIVO: Allow me-- I wanted to say a few words about this photo and the photo that came up with
THOMAS GIERYN: It's [? Kasonovia. ?]
SAL RESTIVO: [? Kasonovia. ?] I had a guitar. And what happened just before this was Ron Campbell had put together his idea of the top philosophers of science and the top sociologists of science. So Steve was there. Karin was there. I was there. A few other people went. He was going to help create this synthesis supporting an evolutionary epistemology.
The sociologists gave the first set of thoughts. And that little Napoleon, David [INAUDIBLE] decided that we were all nuts and crazy and he was going to-- that all the philosophers would just leave. Well, they didn't leave. But we separated out. The philosophers went to the cafeteria. The sociologists went down to the lake.
And with my guitar as background, we sang songs like, (SINGING) my eyes have seen the coming of the evolutionary epistemologists. (SPEAKING) And stuff like that and on and on and on. This was the first-- this was the Fort Sumter of the science fellows. Thank you.
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK. Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] Steve Woolgar, who was always ungrateful about the alphabetical system is going to be our last [INAUDIBLE].
STEVE WOOLGAR: Yeah that's spectacular, isn't it? Hey, man. How embarrassing is this? This is great fun to me. It's a very self indulgent-- but I really enjoyed this reunion of meeting again all the people who've survived from that long time ago. Yeah. It's terrible, this alphabetical order, isn't it? I'm really looking forward to writing a paper with [? Walter ?] [? Zenitz. ?] Finally, I could be the first author.
My memories are quite hazy of this meeting. It seems to me that, the usual thing Tom hinted at, that if you can remember the meeting, you surely couldn't have been there. So I kind of can and can't remember what went on. This was my second ever trip to the US. I was still doing my thesis at the time.
The first trip was to Berkeley, to this very strange meeting called The Use of Quantitative Measures in the History of Science. I've no idea what I was doing. I was invited there. Bruno, who I met there for the first time, had no idea what he was doing there either. And I remember, we kind of sat at the back and wondered what on earth was going on in this meeting and decided to try doing things together from that point.
Now, this is-- what was happening at the time, it seems to me-- looking back now, it's quite interesting-- that there was quite a lot of skepticism, within British circles at least, about what was going on in the sociology of science in the States. And this just precedes what we call the British invasion of the way that the people were talking and talking about, and so on and so on.
And my supervisor at the time-- I said, should I go to this meeting in Berkeley? He said, why even bother with that, really? But on the other hand, they get great ice creams in Berkeley. So you could possibly go for that reason. And so there's a pretty scathing background to what was going on then.
The interesting thing, for me, that was bubbling along this period was the influence of ethno-methodology. And in the background there, behind me, is Paul Drew, who is now a very preeminent conversational analyst. And I shared a house with him for a year. Couldn't figure out what on earth he was doing with this stuff. But it had a really-- it was quite influential on me.
And indeed, my PhD thesis included a study of the ways in which people talking about pulsars talked about pulsars, and in particular, the way they talked about the discovery of it. And as a very naive PhD student, I came across six accounts of the discovery of pulsars. And they all nominated a different date. And I figured I needed to resolve, actually then, what was the date of the discovery of pulsars.
I then realized that these six accounts are all written by the same person. And I went off to Cambridge and interviewed the Nobel Prize winner for physics Antony Hewish, who got extremely upset with me and talked about how my interview made Watergate pale by comparison, and libel is a very serious issue, and all this sort of stuff. And I was right in the middle of this really hot water.
And at the '76 meeting, I gave a paper which was a discussion of scientists' accounts. And I think it's a really interesting reflection of how disparate and unknown the field was there that I got lumped in in the session with economists. And I said to Ben-David, look, how come I'm with these economists? He said, well, you're talking about scientists' accounts.
Well, I think that really signals the kind of disparate, different backgrounds, all the different [INAUDIBLE] people came from.
And as a number of people, like Tom and Robert, have said, there was a very interesting kind of aggressive feel to the meeting. And in many ways, I think that has been very productive. And one of the problems with the growth of the field is I think that has, to some extent got lost. A number of my graduate students-- a number of years where they routinely come back from 4S meetings and say, there was no one fighting. There was no quarreling. There was-- you guys had it so lucky in the early days. It's a good aggression, and so on and so forth.
OK. And thank you, Sal, for mentioning the disobedience. And a parallel project with this, which some of you won't know about, is this wonderful book by Steve Turner, edited collection called The Disobedient Generation. And it is about-- I think, Karin, you might be in the book. I'm not sure-- and it's about all the sociologists, all this generation, and what became of them. So there's some stories there. And very few people try to resist the temptation to be boring and historical and reminiscing and so on and so forth. Thanks very much.
MICHAEL LYNCH: We are going to go a little bit over our scheduled limit, because we started late. So can we get the speakers to come up front so we can deal with a few minutes of questions? Stand up. I need a volunteer to walk around with microphones. Keith? And then we'll circulate this for the speakers. So yes. In the back.
AUDIENCE: Can you hear me?
MICHAEL LYNCH: Yeah.
ED HACKETT: We're old. But we'll try.
MICHAEL LYNCH: You'll get a microphone in a minute if you want.
AUDIENCE: Thank you. And thank you. I just have a brief question. Who of the people that were at the meeting in '76 wouldn't have wanted to come back to this?
AUDIENCE: I was not anticipating that.
SAL RESTIVO: What?
STEVE WOOLGAR: We know who they are.
THOMAS GIERYN: But they're not here.
STEVE WOOLGAR: They're not here.
ROBERT BUD: They're not here. No.
THOMAS GIERYN: Who's absent?
MICHAEL LYNCH: There are a lot of people who are absent for different reasons. Some [INAUDIBLE] or not very well. Some, we couldn't keep track of. I won't name any names. There were one or two-- at least one-- who didn't want to come, but had excuses. And so, but yes.
If you look at the program-- it's online with the 4S website-- you can see, it was not that big of a deal. There were a lot of people in the audience who worked on the program. But it was less than 100 people, scattered worldwide. There were quite a few people like that, who weren't able to come for good reason, but--
THOMAS GIERYN: Mike?
MICHAEL LYNCH: Yeah.
THOMAS GIERYN: Interestingly enough, Merton probably was the person who didn't want to come back. Though he did, for several years, go to 4S meetings, gradually distanced himself from it, because he couldn't control it. He found the American Sociological Association and its sessions on sociology and science much more of a place where he thought his ideas could get a fair hearing.
4S got away from him. I think it's one of the ultimate ironies of our world that the guy who got the money to bring the Eastern Europeans and was the first president, in effect, wrote his epitaph in the creation of 4S. So be it. And it'll happen again. And thanks to you guys, again.
MICHAEL LYNCH: Another question.
ROBERT BUD: Can I--
MICHAEL LYNCH: Oh, yes. Robert.
ROBERT BUD: There was one person who might not have wanted-- who hasn't-- who has been mentioned, was David Edge. I had seen him quite a lot at that meeting of quantitative history. And he was so angry, he was literally in tears. I had never seen a senior person weeping at a meeting on the podium. And the tensions between-- he refused, then, to allow social studies of science to be taken by the new society. He absolutely wanted to keep separate, absolutely.
BRUNO LATOUR: Why?
ROBERT BUD: He didn't believe in those American sociologist.
BRUNO LATOUR: Oh. OK.
ROBERT BUD: And there was STHV, the site, was set up because he would not allow his journal to be taken by them. And so I think that if David Edge wasn't there, it was very intentional. But he had been there the previous year.
BRUNO LATOUR: But he was at the meeting in--
ROBERT BUD: He had been there. He had been at the quantitative meeting. [INAUDIBLE]. And that's where he was so furious. And he hadn't liked the quantitative styles. He said he was going to give papers so to allow people to hang themselves. Give them enough rope, and they'll hang themselves, he said. And the stakes seemed very high. And it wasn't for personal vanity.
STUART BLUME: Can I say one tiny--
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK.
STUART BLUME: One name that hasn't come up at all in this these days, but who was actually quite a significant figure at the time, was Ed Shils. Nobody's mentioned him.
MICHAEL LYNCH: Was he at the meeting?
STUART BLUME: I mean, he was the one that kind of-- What?
SAL RESTIVO: He wasn't at the meeting.
STUART BLUME: No he wasn't at the meeting. But he edited Minerva and he mentored Joseph Ben-David in Chicago. But anyway.
KARIN KNORR CETINA: I just wanted to add something. And one thing I believe, we have a real [INAUDIBLE] to overcome, is that animosity between science studies and sociology, for example, or anthropology. That is no longer necessary after the vocabulary and some of theories of science studies crashed into other disciplines and were actually taken up, and are taken up, even by people who are doing computational social science now.
So there is absolutely no reason to not see sociology as a resource for science studies and have a respective relationship with it. It will be a mistaken belief to think that just because there was this necessity to distantiate yourself from a particular kind of science studies in the beginning, that that should continue and define our identity.
MICHAEL LYNCH: So let's try another question.
AUDIENCE: Hi. Abby Kinchy at RPI. I can't help but notice that most of the people who were involved in that county conference were men. And I just--
SAL RESTIVO: Will you speak up, please?
MICHAEL LYNCH: Yeah. Use the microphone.
AUDIENCE: Oh. Yeah it's on. Guess I have to put my mouth closer. Yeah. So I was noticing that most of the people involved in this founding conference were men. And I wondered how that affected the dynamics of that meeting? How you think it might have affected the formation of the field? Of course, I'm really interested in how Dr. Knorr Cetina felt about that, but also everyone else involved. How do you-- I'd be interested in reflections of what STS was like in those founding days.
SAL RESTIVO: As somebody who had been going around, hanging out with Marxists, who really gave very little place to women, that first meeting was sort of a revelation to me. Not only were there women there, they were in prominent positions, and with prominent voices. Karin, Susan Cousins, Dorothy Nelkin. So that was a very different kind of meeting.
THOMAS GIERYN: Harriet Zuckerman
SAL RESTIVO: Harriet Zuckerman.
KARIN KNORR CETINA: Diana Crane.
SAL RESTIVO: Diana Crane. It was really-- and there weren't just hangers on and just in the meeting. They were prominent voices. So that was one of the things--
ED HACKETT: There were very few. There were very few women there.
SAL RESTIVO: Well, there were very few. But by contrast to what I'd seen, even at sociology meetings, where there were certainly more women than at other meetings I'd been to, they didn't have those prominent voices. And at that meeting, women did have a place and a voice.
MICHAEL LYNCH: [INAUDIBLE]
KARIN KNORR CETINA: Well, it reflected how many women were in established positions at universities, for example. So there were fewer women. But as you said, that didn't feel, at that meeting, at all like a discrimination sort of thing.
There were occasionally an older man where you had to resist a little bit, or push against. Edward Shils may have been of that kind. He tried to get me to publish in Minerva. And I didn't want to because I didn't-- I looked at the journal and felt this was not my kind of work and my kind of journal.
But he had a nasty reputation, even towards men, in Chicago. He told [INAUDIBLE], who's a very famous sociologist, when he did his dissertation defend, to sit near the window so he could jump out if necessary. So you couldn't take Edward Shields serious.
And it wasn't-- Diana Crane, for example, Zuckerman and others, were established women in the field, showing up in long dresses at the banquet at that first 4S meeting, setting an example, standing out. It was also a visual performance. And you couldn't really feel like--
I have another anecdote. It was Thomas Kuhn. If he wasn't at that meeting, maybe I'm blending it with the next in [? Kasanovia. ?] But he had a new Saab Turbo. And that's was what stuck in my mind. So he invited people to come and experience the new Saab Turbo with him. And I and two others did that. And Kuhn was not-- he didn't convey the feeling that he was discriminating or anything like that.
SAL RESTIVO: To come back to this [? Kasanovia ?] meeting, there had been this falling out between the sociologists and the philosophers. So that was on a Sunday. That night, Tom Kuhn came in. And he had the room right next door to my colleague Michael [? Zenzen's ?] room. And Michael could overhear conversations. Alexander Rosenberg, who was a philosopher, and one of the core organizers with Don Campbell in that meeting, was overheard telling Kuhn, hey, look. The sociologists seem to have gotten a little edge on us. We want you to help bring things back to the philosophers.
I'll tell you one thing about Kuhn being there. He was only there for two days. The two days he was there, almost every comment started out as, Kuhn said or reference to Kuhn. As soon as he left, his name was never mentioned again.
KARIN KNORR CETINA: But it explains the invitation to the Saab Turbo.
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK. We can field one more question and then we'll break for [INAUDIBLE].
AUDIENCE: And this was just a quick follow-up of the last question. Just a quick follow-up of the last question on the issue of women there. And why is it that for a very long time gender was never treated as an important value in any of the studies from the '80s and '90s? It's only a few [INAUDIBLE] who later on [INAUDIBLE] started admonishing STS folks for not treating gender as a value. So was it not important or what?
KARIN KNORR CETINA: I don't actually quite agree with this formulation of the situation. So in some of the labs I went, for example CERN, there were relatively few women. And so it didn't make sense to do a women studies at CERN. You had to look at that whole physics process and disaggregate it and find something out about it. And that was much more interesting, on some level, than trying to do a women's study.
And the women at CERN dressed up like physicists. I say a few words about it in my book, I think. They dressed up like physicists, with pants and a screwdriver hanging out of their back pocket, and behaved like that. And they did not want the differentiation. And they didn't want to address that.
So and also I would say that the feminists who came into the picture, including Donna [? Halloway, ?] but [? Hartsaulk ?] and others, were quite important, and not just somewhere stuck, stacked away, but coming up with formal theorizing. [INAUDIBLE] goes back to them, for example. And they had an important impact on the development of the field, in my view.
It was a little later than the first studies, which were really geared to looking at the practice of science in relation to the generation of [INAUDIBLE] or something like that, and not to question a female versus male. But the feminists later-- it was just a little later, not much-- were extremely important in shaping the field.
THOMAS GIERYN: It's something of an accident that we're celebrating this one moment in time, 1976, because I'm going to recall that the first time I met Sharon [? Trowley, ?] [? Lee ?] [? Star, ?] Joan [? Fujiwara, ?] Adele Park-- this was maybe the second meeting of the 4S. So it was just one of those quirky kinds of things. They were, like me, graduate students out in California, and didn't come, but certainly were there. And one more absent presence. But it didn't take long.
SAL RESTIVO: I think some of the work by the feminists was already emerging in the background. It just wasn't in the culture. So in 1994, when I was president, when I invited my friend Evelyn Fox Keller to give a plenary talk, Tom told me, Sal, you've done it again. You've made a pioneering move. It was 1994. So let's break for coffee, and-- oh.
ROBERT BUD: I want to make one more comment, actually about the meeting itself, not on-- because the impact of Bruno's paper-- the response which you've heard from Robert Merton, a humorous intervention, was clearly a defensive move to defuse what was actually a very tense moment.
Bruno showed a slide of a scientist doing science. And it was a picture of himself giving a paper. Now actually, we had never thought of people giving papers as part of science. You did a laboratory work. You published an article. But the process which he identified as important was very provocative to a younger generation, and aggressive and provocative to an older one.
And in this whole meeting was a real generational divide between Robert Merton trying to protect his position, people like Derek Price also, and younger people looking for direction.
BRUNO LATOUR: [NON-SPEECH SOUNDS]
ROBERT BUD: It was. And it was--
BRUNO LATOUR: Yeah, the young ones were murderous.
ROBERT BUD: Yeah, the young ones were really-- and this defense, this response, by Robert Merton, in terms of "it was a humorous," indicates a level of aggression which he felt, and which he was trying to diffuse.
MICHAEL LYNCH: Thank you. That was a great way to end this.
STUART BLUME: Why aren't we, then, who are the old generations now, defending a position? What does that say?
MICHAEL LYNCH: OK. [INAUDIBLE]
One last thing. One last thing. [INAUDIBLE] wants to give the speakers something.
THOMAS GIERYN: Michael.
THOMAS GIERYN: Money would be appreciated.
AUDIENCE: No money. It's just a [INAUDIBLE]
BRUNO LATOUR: No, I don't actually.
AUDIENCE: You have one already. These were just pins made up.
ROBERT BUD: I have one already, so I've got two pins. I'm a two-pin man.
AUDIENCE: Would you like a second one?
THOMAS GIERYN: No. I don't want a second one.
AUDIENCE: To the best of our knowledge, these were made up in about 1994.
THOMAS GIERYN: Presented without ceremony. They were just given us.
AUDIENCE: Because the FBI was there. It was all a lot of other problems at that point, Tom. Anyway, these-- you got one.
MICHAEL LYNCH: These were given to the attendees at the original meeting.
AUDIENCE: So they didn't get theirs at that time, 1994. So now they have a founders pin.
AUDIENCE: So thank you, Wes.
We've received your request
You will be notified by email when the transcript and captions are available. The process may take up to 5 business days. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this request.
The first meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) took place at Cornell in 1976. Participants at the conference, "Where has STS Traveled?" including Stuart Blume, Robert Bud, Thomas Gieryn, Edward Hackett, Karin Knorr Cetina, Bruno Latour, Sal Restivo, Steve Woolgar and Michael Lynch, reflected on that inaugural meeting in a panel discussion on Oct. 28, 2016. The two-day celebrated the developments in the field of science and technology studies (STS) over the last four decades.