Science in Context Journal Impact Factor & Information

Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)

Journal description

Science in Context is devoted to the study of the sciences from the points of view of comparative epistemology and historical sociology of scientific knowledge. The journal is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of science and its cultural development - it does not segregate considerations drawn from history philosophy and sociology. Controversies within scientific knowledge and debates about methodology are presented in their contexts.

Current impact factor: 0.29

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2013 / 2014 Impact Factor 0.286
2012 Impact Factor 0.548
2011 Impact Factor 0.395
2010 Impact Factor 0.489
2009 Impact Factor 0.236
2008 Impact Factor 0.179
2007 Impact Factor 0.154
2006 Impact Factor 0.196
2005 Impact Factor 0.357
2004 Impact Factor 0.277
2003 Impact Factor 0.208
2002 Impact Factor 0.239
2001 Impact Factor 0.32
2000 Impact Factor 0.186
1999 Impact Factor 0.155
1998 Impact Factor 0.118

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 0.43
Cited half-life 0.00
Immediacy index 0.40
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.37
Website Science in Context website
Other titles SIC, science in context
ISSN 0269-8897
OCLC 16060175
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

Cambridge University Press (CUP)

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Author's Pre-print on author's personal website, departmental website, social media websites, institutional repository, non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC or arXiv
    • Author's post-print on author's personal website, departmental website, institutional repository, non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC or arXiv, on acceptance of publication
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Published abstract may be deposited
    • Pre-print to record acceptance for publication
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set statement, for deposit of Authors Post-print or Publisher's version/PDF
    • Must link to publisher version
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Cambridge University Press (CUP)'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Argument In this paper I study the engagement of German ornithologists with the Collared Dove, a bird species of Asian origin that spread massively throughout Central Europe in the 1940s and 1950s. Never before had the spread of a single species attracted so much attention from European ornithologists. Ornithologists were not only fascinated by the exotic origin of the bird, but even more so by the unprecedented rapidity of its expansion. As it is argued in the paper, the advent of the bird created an outstanding opportunity for ornithologists to study the process of biogeographic range expansion. The paper traces how knowledge on the dove's expansion took shape in the social, discursive, and material practices of a large-scale observation campaign of German ornithologists (both amateurs and academics). The paper also argues that ornithologists' observation practices have contributed to the construction of a benevolent cultural image of the Collared Dove. This sets the case of the Collared Dove apart from many recent debates in which newly arriving species have been framed as a threat to biodiversity. The paper contributes both to a historical understanding of scientific fieldwork as well as of the role of scientific knowledge in the shaping of cultural meanings of animals.
    Science in Context 06/2015; 28(2):259-284. DOI:10.1017/S026988971500006X
  • Science in Context 06/2015; 28(02):285-295. DOI:10.1017/S0269889715000034
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    ABSTRACT: Argument Temporal issues appear to be crucial to the relationship between life scientists and their field sites and to the making of science in the field. We elaborate on the notion of practices of time to describe the ways life scientists cope with multiple and potentially conflicting temporal aspects that influence how they become engaged and remain engaged in a field-site, such as pleasure, long-term security, scientific productivity, and timeliness. With this notion, we seek to bring enhanced visibility and coherence to the extensive but rather scattered and limited treatments of temporal practices in field sciences that already exist.
    Science in Context 06/2015; 28(2):237-258. DOI:10.1017/S0269889715000022
  • Science in Context 06/2015; 28(02):297-310. DOI:10.1017/S0269889715000071
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    ABSTRACT: Argument At Metaphysics A 5 986a22-b2, Aristotle refers to a Pythagorean table, with two columns of paired opposites. I argue that 1) although Burkert and Zhmud have argued otherwise, there is sufficient textual evidence to indicate that the table, or one much like it, is indeed of Pythagorean origin; 2) research in structural anthropology indicates that the tables are a formalization of arrays of "symbolic classification" which express a pre-scientific world view with social and ethical implications, according to which the presence of a principle on one column of the table will carry with it another principle within the same column; 3) a close analysis of Aristotle's arguments shows that he thought that the table expresses real causal relationships; and 4) Aristotle faults the table of opposites with positing its principles as having universal application and with not distinguishing between those principles that are causally prior and those that are posterior. Aristotle's account of scientific explanation and his own explanations that he developed in accordance with this account are in part the result of his critical encounter with this prescientific Pythagorean table.
    Science in Context 06/2015; 28(2):171-193. DOI:10.1017/S0269889715000046
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    ABSTRACT: Argument This paper examines the postwar reconstruction of the Polish academic system. It analyzes a debate that took place in the newly established university in the proletarian city of Łódź. The vision of the shape of the university was a bone of contention between the professors. This resulted in two contentious models of a university: "liberal" and "socialized." Soon, universities were transformed into crucial institutions of the emerging communist state, where national history, ideology, and the future elite were produced and shaped. The social university was transformed into a socialistic university. Analysis of this process of transformation enables me to scrutinize the difficult clashes between the leftist intellectuals and the rising system of power that was not entirely hostile to them. The case of Poland also shows that sovietization did not mean solely a ruthless convergence of Central and Eastern Europe with a universal model most completely implemented in the USSR. Power hitting the ground was redeployed along various local interests, institutional conjunctures, and personal intransigencies. On a more universal level, I present this case in the context of the challenge of modernization and its many respective accommodations.
    Science in Context 06/2015; 28(2):215-236. DOI:10.1017/S0269889715000083
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):1-7. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000295
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    ABSTRACT: Argument In the 1970s a public controversy erupted over the proposed use of brain operations to curtail violent behavior. Civil libertarians, civil rights and community activists, leaders of the anti-psychiatry movement, and some U.S. Congressmen charged psychosurgeons and the National Institute of Mental Health, with furthering a political project: the suppression of dissent. Several government-sponsored investigations into psychosurgery rebutted this charge and led to an official qualified endorsement of the practice while calling attention to the need for more "scientific" understanding and better ethical safeguards. This paper argues that the psychosurgery debate of the 1970s was more than a power struggle between members of the public and the psychiatric establishment. The debate represented a clash between a postmodern skepticism about science and renewed focus on ultimate ends, on the one hand, and a modern faith in standards and procedures, a preoccupation with means, on the other. These diverging commitments made the dispute ultimately irresolvable.
    Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):99-129. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000349
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    ABSTRACT: Argument The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) was a projective psychological test created by Harvard psychologist Henry A. Murray and his lover Christina Morgan in the 1930s. The test entered the nascent intelligence service of the United States (the OSS) during the Second World War due to its celebrated reputation for revealing the deepest aspects of an individual's unconscious. It subsequently spread as a scientifically objective research tool capable not only of dredging the unconscious depths, but also of determining the best candidate for a management position, the psychological complexes of human nature, and the unique characteristics of a culture. Two suppositions underlie the utility of the test. One is the power of narrative. The test entails a calculated abuse of the subjects tested, based on their inability to interpret their own narrative. The form of the test requires that a subject fail to decipher the coded, unconscious meaning their narrative reveals. Murray believed the interpretation of a subject's narrative and the projection contained therein depended exclusively on the psychologist. This view of interpretation stems from the seemingly more reasonable belief of nineteenth-century Romantic thinkers that a literary text serves as a proxy for an author's deepest self. The TAT also supposes that there is something beyond consciousness closely resembling a psychoanalytic unconscious, which also has clear precedents in nineteenth-century German thought. Murray's views on literary interpretation, his view of psychology as well as the continuing prevalence of the TAT, signals a nineteenth-century concept of self that insists "on relations of depth and surface, inner and outer life" (Galison 2007, 277). It is clear the hermeneutic practice of Freud's psychoanalysis, amplified in Jung, drew on literary conceptions of the unconscious wider than those of nineteenth-century psychology.
    Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):9-30. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000301
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    ABSTRACT: Argument As historian Henning Schmidgen notes, the scientific study of the nervous system would have been "unthinkable" without the industrialization of communication in the 1830s. Historians have investigated extensively the way nerve physiologists have borrowed concepts and tools from the field of communications, particularly regarding the nineteenth-century work of figures like Helmholtz and in the American Cold War Era. The following focuses specifically on the interwar research of the Cambridge physiologist Edgar Douglas Adrian, and on the technology that led to his Nobel-Prize-winning research, the thermionic vacuum tube. Many countries used the vacuum tube during the war for the purpose of amplifying and intercepting coded messages. These events provided a context for Adrian's evolving understanding of the nerve fiber in the 1920s. In particular, they provide the background for Adrian's transition around 1926 to describing the nerve impulse in terms of "information," "messages," "signals," or even "codes," and for translating the basic principles of the nerve, such as the all-or-none principle and adaptation, into such an "informational" context. The following also places Adrian's research in the broader context of the changing relationship between science and technology, and between physics and physiology, in the first few decades of the twentieth century.
    Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):31-52. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000313
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    ABSTRACT: Argument This paper examines the intersecting histories of psychiatry and psychology (particularly in its clinical guise) in the United States from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present. It suggests that there have been three major shifts in the ideological and intellectual orientation of the "psy complex." The first period sees the dominance of the asylum in the provision of mental health care, with psychology, once it emerges in the early twentieth century, remaining a small enterprise largely operating outside the clinical arena, save for the development of psychometric technology. It is followed, between 1945 and 1980, by the rise of psychoanalytic psychiatry and the emergence of clinical psychology. Finally, the re-emergence of biological psychiatry is closely associated with two major developments: an emphasis that emerges in the late 1970s on rendering the diagnosis of psychiatric illnesses mechanical and predictable; and the long-term effects of the psychopharmacological revolution that began in the early 1950s. This third period has seen a shift the orientation of mainstream psychiatry away from psychotherapy, the end of traditional mental hospitals, and a transformed environment within which clinical psychologists ply their trade.
    Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):131-161. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000350
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):163-170. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000362
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    ABSTRACT: It seems theoretically convenient to construe knowledge practices in financial markets and organizations as "applied economics." Alternatively or additionally, one might argue that practitioners draw on economic knowledge in order to systematically orient their actions towards profit-maximization; models, then, are understood as devices that make calculative rationality possible. However, empirical studies do not entirely confirm these theoretical positions: Practitioners' actual calculations are often not "framed" by models; organizations and institutions influence the choice and adoption of models; and different professional groups in financial markets have diverging attitudes towards model calculations. In order to account for this diversity, this article proposes the concept of cultures of economic and financial expertise; the concept focuses on the patterns of knowledge practices and knowledge-related self-definitions of groups within financial organizations and markets; it also facilitates an analysis of the relations between and, more specifically, the hierarchies among different practices and identities. The article then goes on to explore the process of foreign exchange forecasting in a particular bank. The description immediately reveals that two groups are involved in this process: economists and analysts. These groups maintain quite different practices and self-descriptions in relation to models: While the economists in the bank use the models as organizational resources for consistent forecasting procedures and observe data with the help of simple model structures, analysts approach model forecasts from the perspective of critics: They see limits in the variable-centered, as opposed to a "thematic" approach and they disregard a model's imposed temporality. Nevertheless, analysts use model forecasts as anchors for developing their own "paths" and stories about possible future expectation changes in the markets. The specific division of labor between economists and analysts, and specifically the dominant role of analysts in the forecasting process, fit into a larger picture: The rise of institutional investors in the foreign exchange markets and their demand for genuine market knowledge for speculative investment projects has contributed to the rise and dominance of analysts' culture.
    Science in Context 12/2014; 27(04):605-630. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000222
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    ABSTRACT: This paper aims at contributing to the ongoing efforts to get a firmer grasp of the systematic significance of the entanglement of idealism and empiricism in Helmholtz's work. Contrary to existing analyses, however, the focal point of the present exposition is Helmholtz's attempt to articulate a psychological account of objectification. Helmholtz's motive, as well as his solution to the problem of the object are outlined, and interpreted against the background of his scientific practice on the one hand, and that of empiricist and (transcendental) idealist analyses of experience on the other. The specifically psychological angle taken, not only prompts us to consider figures who have hitherto been treated as having only minor import for Helmholtz interpretation (most importantly J.S. Mill and J.G. Fichte), it furthermore sheds new light on some central tenets of the latter's psychological stance that have hitherto remained underappreciated. For one thing, this analysis reveals an explicit voluntarist tendency in Helmholtz's psychological theory. In conclusion, it is argued that the systematic significance of Helmholtz's empirico-transcendentalism with respect to questions of the mind is best understood as an attempt to found his empirical theory of perception in a second order, normative account of epistemic subjectivity.
    Science in Context 12/2014; 27(4):709-44. DOI:10.1017/S026988971400026X
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    ABSTRACT: Between 1838 and 1863 the Grimm brothers led a collaborative research project to create a new kind of dictionary documenting the history of the German language. They imagined the work would present a scientific account of linguistic cohesiveness and strengthen German unity. However, their dictionary volumes (most of which were arranged and written by Jacob Grimm) would be variously criticized for their idiosyncratic character and ultimately seen as a poor, and even prejudicial, piece of scholarship. This paper argues that such criticisms may reflect a misunderstanding of the dictionary. I claim it can be best understood as an artifact of romanticist science and its epistemological privileging of subjective perception coupled with a deeply-held faith in inter-subjective congruence. Thus situated, it is a rare and detailed case of Romantic ideas and ideals applied to the scientific study of social artifacts. Moreover, the dictionary's organization, reception, and legacy provide insights into the changing landscape of scientific practice in Germany, showcasing the difficulties of implementing a romanticist vision of science amidst widening gaps between the public and professionals, generalists and specialists.
    Science in Context 12/2014; 27(4):683-707. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000258
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    ABSTRACT: This article examines the conception of elements in the natural philosophy of Nicolaus Taurellus (1547-1606) and explores the theological motivation that stands behind this conception. By some of his early modern readers, Taurellus may have been understood as a proponent of material atoms. By contrast, I argue that considerations concerning the substantiality of the ultimate constituents of composites led Taurellus to an immaterialist ontology, according to which elements are immaterial forms that possess active and passive potencies as well as motion and extension. In Taurellus's view, immaterialism about elements provides support for the theological doctrine of creation ex nihilo. As he argues, the ontology of immaterial forms helps to explicate a sense in which creatures are substances, not accidents of the divine substance. In particular, he maintains that immaterial forms stand in suitable relations of ontological dependence to God: creation dependence (since forms would not exist without the divine act of creation), but neither subsistence dependence (since forms continue to exist without continued divine agency) nor activity dependence (since forms are active without requiring divine concurrence).
    Science in Context 12/2014; 27(4):659-82. DOI:10.1017/S0269889714000246