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Disrupting Science: Social Movements, American Scientists, and the Politics of the Military, 1945-1975by Kelly Moore
Synopses & Reviews
In the decades following World War II, American scientists were celebrated for their contributions to social and technological progress. They were also widely criticized for their increasingly close ties to military and governmental power--not only by outside activists but from among the ranks of scientists themselves. Disrupting Science tells the story of how scientists formed new protest organizations that democratized science and made its pursuit more transparent. The book explores how scientists weakened their own authority even as they invented new forms of political action.
Drawing extensively from archival sources and in-depth interviews, Kelly Moore examines the features of American science that made it an attractive target for protesters in the early cold war and Vietnam eras, including scientists' work in military research and activities perceived as environmentally harmful. She describes the intellectual traditions that protesters drew from--liberalism, moral individualism, and the New Left--and traces the rise and influence of scientist-led protest organizations such as Science for the People and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Moore shows how scientist protest activities disrupted basic assumptions about science and the ways scientific knowledge should be produced, and recast scientists' relationships to political and military institutions.
Disrupting Science reveals how the scientific community cumulatively worked to unbind its own scientific authority and change how science and scientists are perceived. In doing so, the book redefines our understanding of social movements and the power of insider-led protest.
"Kelly Moore's book is a significant scholarly achievement and will be an important and much-cited work in the sociology and social studies of science. Moore not only advances how we conceive of the politics that scientists engage in, but she also more clearly spells out the protest activities of the 1960s and places science near the center of their concerns."--David H. Guston, author of Between Politics and Science: Assuring the Integrity and Productivity of Research
"This is a truly excellent book by a thoughtful scholar. Moore's theoretical development is compelling and her concepts are of use beyond the empirical terrain she covers in the book. What's more, she shows that it is worth looking at social movements that focus on institutions like science and studying these movements' effects on meanings and orientation, not just policies."--Daniel Lee Kleinman, editor of Science, Technology, and Democracy
About the Author
Kelly Moore is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations ix
CHAPTER 1: Introduction 1
CHAPTER 2: The Expansion and Critiques of Science-Military Ties, 1945-1970 22
CHAPTER 3: Scientists as Moral Individuals: Quakerism and the Society for Social Responsibility in Science 54
CHAPTER 4: Information and Political Neutrality: Liberal Science Activism and the St. Louis Committee for Nuclear Information 96
CHAPTER 5: Confronting Liberalism: The Anti-Vietnam War Movement and the ABM Debate, 1965-1969 130
CHAPTER 6: Doing "Science for the People": Enactments of a New Left Politics of Science 158
CHAPTER 7: Conclusions: Disrupting the Social and Moral Order of Science 190
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