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Gary Werskey, 'The Marxist Critique of Capitalist Science: A History in Three Movements?'

I want to understand, as a participant and observer, the history and prospects of the Marxist critique of capitalist science.

This perspective - and the politics which it supported -- flourished briefly but notably in Britain, France, and the US in the 1930s and 1940s, only to be revived and transformed in the 1960s and 1970s. In both instances, socialist critics drew on their personal, professional, and political experiences - informed by the Marxisms of their day - to generate novel and challenging accounts of the history, philosophy, and politics of science. However, neither wave of Marxist commentary significantly informed the mainstream development of science and technology studies (STS) in the second half of the twentieth century. More importantly for these activists, their political movements utterly collapsed in the 1950s and 1980s, respectively.

Linda Walker, 'Fatal Inheritance: Mormon Eugenics' 

This essay is a personal history of one woman's discovery of the consequences of polygamous inbreeding for the health of the children of such unions: inherited disorders, some of which are fatal. It is as if the Mormons had studied classical eugenics and pursued the opposite practices, leading to serious intensification of deleterious traits. Assuming that the claims in Linda Walker's account are as she reports them, this is occurring - as a recent trial has made clear - in spite of official opposition by the Church of the Latter Day Saints and the legal authorities. It is a poignant story. A church which sought to intensify its elite through the marriage of  close relatives has produced a eugenic nightmare, something which, by her account, it appears to have sought to keep from public attention by falsifying records.

Nick Crossley, Review of The Fontana History of the Human Sciences, by Roger Smith
Jonathan Rosenhead, 'Complexity Theory and Management Practice'

Rosenhead provides a brief overview of the subject matter of chaos and complexity theory, together with an outline of the ways in which they have been applied to the field of management. An exploration of the substantive conclusions for management drawn from this theory is followed by an examination of the validity of basing such conclusions on scientific findings from a remote disciplinary area.


This is a talk given to the Zangwill Club at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge. It provides an overview of the work and influence of W.H.R. Rivers, who has recently come to public attention in the wake of the Regeneration trilogy of novels by Pat Barker, one of which won the Booker Prize.

Keith Hart, 'The place of the 1898 Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Straits (CAETS) in the history of British social anthropology'

This lecture, introducing a conference on anthropology and psychology to mark the centenary of the Torres Straits expedition, seeks to place the work of the expedition's anthropologists within the history of the British discipline. The expedition symbolised a turn from Victorian armchair evolutionism to 20th century ethnography with its emphasis on intensive fieldwork. The founders of modern British social anthropology, Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown, represented themselves as the authors of a "functionalist revolution" with few, if any antecedents. This has tended to obscure the intellectual contribution of W.H.R. Rivers, hero of Pat Barker's recent trilogy of novels, who first sought to maintain anthropology and psychology as separate disciplines, but then attempted a reflexive synthesis shortly before his premature death in 1922. The lecture suggests that British social anthropology once provided an allegorical commentary on a world organised by nation-states. If we wish to make sense of self and society in the post-national phase of human history, the example of the Torres Straits expedition and especially of Rivers deserves our serious attention. comments welcome to Keith Hart<>

Barbara Saunders, 'Revisiting Basic Colour Terms'
| A list of Barbara Saunders' publications |

In this paper a historiography of colour science and a re-reading of Rivers and Lenneberg casts new light on Berlin & Kay’s Basic Color Terms. Unacknowledged commitments are presented, as too, are hints about links to a larger research programme, namely, Evolutionary Psychology. Throughout I claim that Berlin and Kay endow their ambitious project with an aura of strong prima facie evidence by fiat of colour science. Colour science in the relevant sense is not however an empirical but an a priori science, commitment to which fatally compromises Berlin and Kay's claims.

Julio Muñoz-Rubio, 'Political Economy at Nature. The Ideological Background of Darwinian Discourse'
Julio Muñoz-Rubio, 'On Darwinian Discourse: Anthropologization of Nature in the Naturalization of Man'
Val Dusek, 'Sociobiology Sanitized: The Evolutionary Psychology And Genic Selectionism Debates'
Barbara Heyl, 'The Harvard "Pareto Circle"'

This essay offers a searching exposition of the ideological roots of functionalism and systems thinking in American social science. The use of scientistic anologies and deference to the ultra-conservative writings of Vilfredo Pareto are shown to lie at the base of the theories of this key group, including especially L. J. Henderson, Crane Brinton and Talcott Parsons, working at Harvard in the early decades of the twentieth century. It originally appeared in Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences, 4 (No. 4): 316-34, 1968.

Robert M. Young, 'A Place for Critique in the Mass Media'

Paper presented to programme in Science, Society and the Media', University of the West of England, June 1995. It explores the concept of critique and why it is so hard to do in the mass media, with proposals.

Simon Schaffer, 'Babbage's Intelligence'

In summer 1823 the new and controversial Astronomical Society of London decided to award its gold medal to one of its own founder members, the equally controversial Cambridge-trained mathematician Charles Babbage. The award formed part of an energetic campaign to launch the construction of a Difference Engine to calculate navigational and astronomical tables.

The apotheosis of the intelligent machine was an integral part of Babbage's ambitious programme. This programme has been used here to illuminate the complex character of systematic vision in the Industrial Revolution.

This article appears courtesy of the Hypermedia Research Centre.

Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, 'The Californian Ideology'

There is an emerging global orthodoxy concerning the relation between society, technology and politics. In this paper we are calling this orthodoxy the Californian Ideology in honour of the state where it originated. By naturalising and giving a technological proof to a political philosophy, and therefore foreclosing on alternative futures, the Californian ideologues are able to assert that social and political debates about the future have now become meaningless and - horror of horrors - unfashionable. Under consideration for Science as Culture

Thomas H. Thompson,'Metaphilosophy'

This is an autobiographical essay by a philosopher in which he reflects on his experiences as a graduate student in a department where a dominant figure, Gustav Bergmann, an adherent of the Vienna Circle, was in mortal combat with another philosopher, Everett Hall. The author explores the intellectual and interpersonal atmospheres and reflects psychoanalytically on the culture of graduate school in Iowa City.

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© Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 27 February, 2007 03:32 PM

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