Understanding Objectivity in Research Reported in the Journal Science & Education (Springer)

  • Mansoor NiazEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Trends and Issues in Science Education book series (CTISE, volume 46)


Based on a website search with the keyword “objectivity,” 131 articles in the 23 year period (1992–2014) referred to some form of objectivity and were classified according to the following criteria: Level I, traditional understanding of objectivity as found in science textbooks and positivist philosophers of science; Level II, a simple mention of objectivity as an academic/literary objective; Level III, problematic nature of objectivity is recognized, however, no mention is made of its changing/evolving nature; Level IV, an approximation to the evolving/changing nature of objectivity based on social and cultural aspects; Level V, a detailed historical reconstruction of the evolving nature of objectivity that recognized the role of the scientific community and its implications for science education. Results obtained showed the following distribution of the 131 articles evaluated: Level I = 5, Level II = 56, Level III = 58, Level IV = 10, and Level V = 2. Only 9% (12 out of 131) of the articles were considered to have an understanding of objectivity that approximated to its historical evolution. Four articles referred to the work of Daston and Galison on objectivity and only one mentioned “trained judgment.” One article based on the work of Longino (explanatory plurality) reconciled the objectivity of science with its social and cultural construction (Level IV).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Epistemology of Science Group, Department of ChemistryUniversidad de OrienteCumanáVenezuela

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