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Changing Order

Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice

This fascinating study in the sociology of science explores the way scientists conduct, and draw conclusions from, their experiments. The book is organized around three case studies: replication of the TEA-laser, detecting gravitational rotation, and some experiments in the paranormal.

"In his superb book, Collins shows why the quest for certainty is disappointed. He shows that standards of replication are, of course, social, and that there is consequently no outside standard, no Archimedean point beyond society from which we can lever the intellects of our fellows."—Donald M. McCloskey, Journal of Economic Psychology

"Collins is one of the genuine innovators of the sociology of scientific knowledge. . . . Changing Order is a rich and entertaining book."—Isis

"The book gives a vivid sense of the contingent nature of research and is generally a good read."—Augustine Brannigan, Nature

"This provocative book is a review of [Collins’s] work, and an attempt to explain how scientists fit experimental results into pictures of the world. . . . A promising start for new explorations of our image of science, too often presented as infallibly authoritative."—Jon Turney, New Scientist

207 pages | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1985, 1992

Sociology: Theory and Sociology of Knowledge

Table of Contents

Note to the 1992 Edition
Preface and Acknowledgments
1. The Mystery of Perception and Order
2. The Idea of Replication
3. Replicating the TEA-Laser: Maintaining Scientific Knowledge
4. Detecting Gravitational Radiation: The Experimenter’s Regress
5. Some Experiments in the Paranormal: The Experimenter’s Regress Revisited
6. The Scientist in the Network: A Sociological Resolution of the Problem of Inductive Inference
Postscript: Science as Expertise
Methodological Appendix
References Cited
Name Index
Subject Index

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