Science in Context (SCI CONTEXT )

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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

  • 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 for HSS journals, 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
    • Author's post-print for STM journals, on author's personal website on acceptance of publication
    • Author's post-print for STM journals, on departmental website, institutional repository, non-commercial subject-based repositories, such as PubMed Central, Europe PMC or arXiv, after a 6 months embargo
    • 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
    • Publisher last reviewed on 07/10/2014
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):77-98.
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):1-7.
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):99-129.
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):131-161.
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):31-52.
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):9-30.
  • Science in Context 03/2015; 28(01):163-170.
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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.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper challenges three assumptions common in the literature on expertise: that expertise is linearly derived from scientific knowledge; that experts always align with the established institutional order; and that expertise is a property acquired by individuals. We criticize these ideas by juxtaposing three distinct expert practices involved with flood risk management in England. Virtual engineering is associated with commercial consultancy and relies on standardized software packages to assess local flood inundation. Mathematical experimentation refers to academic scientists creating new digital renderings of the physical dynamics of flooding. Participatory modeling denotes research projects that aim to transform the relationships between experts and local communities. Focusing on different modes of modeling we contribute an analysis of how particular models articulate with specific politics of knowledge as experts form relationships with flood risk management actors. Our empirical study also shows how models can contribute to re-distribution of expertise in local flood risk management.
    Science in Context 12/2014; 27(4):579-603.
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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.
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    ABSTRACT: This article studies the roles three science-based models play in Dutch policy and decision making processes. Key is the interaction between model construction and environment. Their political and scientific environments form contexts that shape the roles of models in policy decision making. Attention is paid to three aspects of the wider context of the models: a) the history of the construction process; b) (changes in) the political and scientific environments; and c) the use in policy processes over longer periods of time. Models are more successfully used when they are constructed in a stable political and scientific environment. Stability and certainty within a scientific field seems to be a key predictor for the usefulness of models for policy making. The economic model is more disputed than the ecology-based model and the model that has its theoretical foundation in physics and chemistry. The roles models play in policy processes are too complex to be considered as straightforward technocratic powers.
    Science in Context 12/2014; 27(4):631-57.
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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.
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores the scientific partnership between geology professor Gerard De Geer and his wife Ebba Hult following their marriage in 1908. De Geer was an influential participant in Swedish academia and international geology. Hult worked as his assistant until his death in 1943. The partnership was beneficial for both spouses, in particular through the semi-private Geochronological Institute, which they controlled. The article argues that marriage was a culturally acknowledged form of collaboration in the academic community, and as such it offered Hult access to geological research. However, the paper also argues that the gendered scientific institutions produced a fractured position. Partly, Hult managed to create her own role as researcher in geochronology. As a woman and a wife, however, she never moved out of her husband's shadow. Gender is understood as a relational category: Hult was an outsider who participated partially in standardized structures which gave great power to her husband and other men. The fact that she shared this status with other women in Swedish science at the time indicates the structural nature of their position. Nevertheless, they all had individual trajectories through academia. Indeed, the study of collaborative couples illustrates the multifaceted links between individual actions and the historical context of science.
    Science in Context 09/2014; 27(03):423-451.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies in Sinology have shown that Qing dynasty editors acted as philologists. This paper argues that the identification of their philological methods and editorial choices suggests that their choices were not totally neutral and may have significantly shaped the way modern historians interpreted specific works edited by mathematicians of that dynasty. A case study of the re-edition in 1798 of a Song dynasty treatise, the Yigu yanduan (1259), by a Qing dynasty mathematician will illustrate this point. At the end of the eighteenth century, Li Rui (1773–1817) was asked to prepare an edition of the mathematical works written by Li Ye (1192–1279) for a private collection. Li Rui was a talented mathematician, but he was also a meticulous editor and trained philologist. He adopted his editorial model from the preparation of the imperial encyclopaedia, the Siku quanshu, but Li Rui also made some corrections to the text in an effort to restore an older version of Li Ye's treatises that had been lost. Convinced of the Chinese origin of algebra, Li Rui used philological techniques to recover the lost materials and to restore the roots of “Chinese mathematics.” The Yigu yanduan contains two algebraic procedures to set up quadratic equations, one from the procedure of Celestial Source (tian yuan shu) and the other from the Section of Pieces [of Areas] (tiao duan). Curiously, the second procedure has not yet attracted the attention of scholars so far, although Li Rui's edition is the one typically used by twentieth-century historians of mathematics. Today, the Celestial Source characterizes “Chinese algebra.” However, the specific concerns of Li Rui about the procedure of Celestial Source, combined with his editorial methods, contributed to this perspective.
    Science in Context 09/2014; 3(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Scientific uncertainty is fundamental to the management of contemporary global risks. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the start of the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic. This declaration signified the risk posed by the spread of the H1N1 virus, and in turn precipitated a range of actions by global public health actors. This article analyzes the WHO's public representation of risk and examines the centrality of scientific uncertainty in the case of H1N1. It argues that the WHO's risk narrative reflected the context of scientific uncertainty in which it was working. The WHO argued that it was attempting to remain faithful to the scientific evidence, and the uncertain nature of the threat. However, as a result, the WHO's public risk narrative was neither consistent nor socially robust, leading to the eventual contestation of the WHO's position by other global public health actors, most notably the Council of Europe. This illustrates both the significance of scientific uncertainty in the investigation of risk, and the difficulty for risk managing institutions in effectively acting in the face of this uncertainty.
    Science in Context 09/2014; 27(3):511-29.
  • Science in Context 06/2014; 27(2):249-74.
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    ABSTRACT: In the 1920s there were still very few fossil human remains to support an evolutionary explanation of human origins. Nonetheless, evolution as an explanatory framework was widely accepted. This led to a search for ancestors in several continents with fierce international competition. With so little fossil evidence available and the idea of a Missing Link as a crucial piece of evidence in human evolution still intact, many actors participated in the scientific race to identify the human ancestor. The curious case of Homo gardarensis serves as an example of how personal ambitions and national pride were deeply interconnected as scientific concerns were sometimes slighted in interwar palaeoanthropology.
    Science in Context 06/2014; 27(2):359-83.