The Golem: What You Should Know about Science
Harry M. Collins and Trevor Pinch
The Golem series was quite the success when it’s first published. Obviously, the first volume was the most important in the series.
In the book, the authors associate the Golem with science. What is the Golem? It is a creature borrowed from Jewish mythology. It’s ugly but not evil. The Golem is powerful but not dangerous, it is just clumsy.
The second volume was dedicated to technology. Following the same trail of the first case study, the authors demonstrate that everything wrong with technology is the result of faulty science. The two volumes complement each other.
Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life
Theodore M. Porter
A heavyweight investigative work that explores how the cultural meanings of objectivity evolved over the last two hundred years. How quantitative methods gained such appeal in the modern world? The typical answer is that quantification helped in the study of nature. But the author disagrees.
He argues that studying human societies isn’t the same as studying atoms, stars, and cells. Apparently, he encourages the reader to look in the opposite direction. Understanding the allure of quantification in social sciences will help shed light on the role it plays in natural sciences. The book gives many examples.
Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison
This book displays the advent of objectivity in the mid-nineteenth-century sciences, as documented on the pages of scientific atlases. A narrative of how haughty epistemic notions blend with workaday activities. The history of objectivity is not void of surprises. In the book, the authors reveal the how misunderstood objectivity was ad still is.
Other notable STS books include:
Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life by Kaushik Sunder Rajan
Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies by Bruno Latour
Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity by Ulrich Beck