People

Steven Shapin

Steven Shapin is Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, having taught previously at Edinburgh University and at University of California, San Diego. He is author of numerous books including Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It Was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture, and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority (John Hopkins University Press, 2010). He writes regularly for the London Review of Books and has written for The New Yorker. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, his awards include the J. D. Bernal Prize of the Society for Social Studies of Science, the Ludwik Fleck Prize of 4S and the Robert K. Merton Prize of the American Sociological Association, the Herbert Dingle Prize of the British Society for the History of Science, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. With Simon Schaffer, he was the 2005 winner of the Erasmus Prize, conferred by HRH the Prince of Orange of the Netherlands, for contributions to European culture, society, or social science.  

MARS HILL AUDIO Anthology 11

Rediscovering the Organism: Science and Its Contexts

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Modern culture is profoundly shaped by science—by its methods, its products, and its public authority. The centrality of science in modern society affects how we think, what we think about, the kinds of conclusions we come to, and the kinds of assumptions that we hold—including assumptions about what sort of creatures we are and what sort of lives are most fitting for our nature. Theologian Lesslie Newbigin has argued that science has effectively eliminated “Why” questions from our culture. Modern Western people, he wrote, have “a disposition to believe that purpose has no place as a category of explanation in any exercise that claims to be ‘scientific,’ and thus to look for the explanation of everything, including both animal and human behavior, without reference to purpose.

This anthology features philosophers, theologians, historians, and research scientists, all of whom have thought deeply about the interaction of science with other disciplines and with the settings in which science is practiced and exerts its influence. One theme that emerges is how science in answering “How?” sometimes obscures the “What?” of specific things, as well as the “Why?” of all things. 1 hour 47 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 113

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Guests on Volume 113: Steven Shapin, on whether or not there is a single thing called "science," and whether scientists are united by a single "scientific method"; Arthur Boers, on why the ways in which technologies shape our lives should be recognized as spiritual and pastoral challenges; Christine Pohl, on why a deliberate commitment to certain shared practices is necessary for the sustaining of community; Norman Wirzba, on how attentiveness to our eating and our care of the land are central aspects of culture and of godly faith; Craig Bartholomew, on carelessness concerning embodied experience and our "crisis of place"; and David I. Smith, on how the forms of pedagogical practices ought to be crafted to correspond to the content of teaching.