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Son of seven sexes: The social destruction of a physical phenomenon

Collins, Harold Maurice ORCID: 1981. Son of seven sexes: The social destruction of a physical phenomenon. Social Studies of Science 11 (1) , pp. 33-62. 10.1177/030631278101100103

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Working from within the relativist perspective, this paper documents the demise of credibility of claims for the existence of high fluxes of gravitational radiation. The study is based on interview fieldwork conducted in 1975 and builds upon earlier work reported in 1975. Criticisms of the positive claims are presented schematically and shown to be permeable to alternative interpretations. The actions of one of the major critics are examined in detail and it is suggested that his contribution to the debate is best seen as a - successful - attempt to render alternative interpretations less credible. What was seen by many as a minimal technical contribution was thus made into a decisive experimental account. The case is discussed in terms of the metaphor of 'interpretative charity'.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0306-3127
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 10:01

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