© 1984

Nineteen Eighty-Four: Science Between Utopia and Dystopia

  • Everett Mendelsohn
  • Helga Nowotny

Part of the Sociology of the Sciences a Yearbook book series (SOSC, volume 8)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Science and Utopia in History

  4. Socialism, Science and Utopia

  5. Utopias in Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. Christine Woesler de Panafieu
      Pages 127-145
    3. Aant Elzinga, Andrew Jamison
      Pages 147-172
  6. Utopian Modes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
    2. Evelyn Fox Keller
      Pages 261-272
  7. Epilogue

    1. W. H. Auden
      Pages 291-293

About this book


Just fifty years ago Julian Huxley, the biologist grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, published a book which easily could be seen to represent the prevail­ ing outlook among young scientists of the day: If I were a Dictator (1934). The outlook is optimistic, the tone playfully rational, the intent clear - allow science a free hand and through rational planning it could bring order out of the surrounding social chaos. He complained, however: At the moment, science is for most part either an intellectual luxury or the paid servant of capitalist industry or the nationalist state. When it and its results cannot be fitted into the existing framework, it and they are ignored; and furthermore the structure of scientific research is grossly lopsided, with over-emphasis on some kinds of science and partial or entire neglect of others. (pp. 83-84) All this the scientist dictator would set right. A new era of scientific human­ ism would provide alternative visions to the traditional religions with their Gods and the civic religions such as Nazism and fascism. Science in Huxley's version carries in it the twin impulses of the utopian imagination - Power and Order. Of course, it was exactly this vision of science which led that other grand­ son of Thomas Henry Huxley, the writer Aldous Huxley, to portray scientific discovery as potentially subversive and scientific practice as ultimately en­ slaving.


Evolution Messiah artificial intelligence dystopia socialism utopia

Editors and affiliations

  • Everett Mendelsohn
    • 1
  • Helga Nowotny
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of the History of ScienceHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.European Centre for Social Welfare Training and ResearchAustria
  3. 3.University of ViennaAustria

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Nineteen Eighty-Four: Science Between Utopia and Dystopia
  • Editors E. Mendelsohn
    H. Nowotny
  • Series Title Sociology of the Sciences a Yearbook
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1984
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-1719-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-90-277-1721-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-6340-5
  • Series ISSN 0167-2320
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 303
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site