Terry SHINN, 3. Research-Technology and Cultural Change: Instrumentation, Genericity, Transversality, Oxford, The Bardwell Press, 2007, , 2007


foreword by Paul Forman

Oxford, The Bardwell Press, 2007

This book outlines a new perspective on the history and sociology of science that places the devices and instruments of scientific measurement, and the people who design and develop them, at the centre of study. Terry Shinn identifies a hitherto unexplored domain of scientific development that he calls research-technology, and demonstrates its centrality for understanding scientific change and development. Through case studies of electromagnetism, the German and American scientific instrument makers, computer programming and simulation, and spectroscopy, Terry Shinn makes a strong argument for the transversality of instrumentation in the face of scientific specialization and fragmentation. He shows how established scientific boundaries are often broken down by instrumental technologies, and how the development of science often proceeds via innovation and genericity in instrument design.