The Attack on Social Sciences
Spracklen traces the divide between the natural sciences and the social sciences and the recent growth of big science. The chapter explores the idea of ‘science’ (cautiously framed) from classical Greece to today. The chapter shows the dominance of STEM thinking and the attacks on the social sciences for not being ‘proper’ sciences that generate certain knowledge and economic growth. Despite suspicion about science in contemporary popular culture, the natural sciences retain a privileged place in the ways of thinking and ways of legitimizing knowledge and power in the modern world. STEM thinking makes as common-sense truth the contested claim that all human experience can be reduced to its economic value, and everything social can be reduced to the natural or discarded as false knowledge.
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