Robert K. Merton (1910-2003). La ciencia como institución.
Revista de Estudios Sociales (Impact Factor: 0.13). 12/2010; DOI: 10.7440/res37.2010.08
This article is a tribute to one of the most important thinkers of scientific activity. In it we present those elements we consider indispensable for the analysis of certified knowledge as the central concept of the relationship between the institution of science and society. We seek to propose elements to discuss the Mertonian paradigm of science in the light of the questions and visions raised by the philosophy, history and sociology of science. In the first two sections we present a description of the institutional form conceived by Merton to certify scientific knowledge and bring about its usefulness, focusing on the details of the framework it provides on the methods of science which validate its acceptance. In the two final sections we approach the Mertonian vision of social structure of scientific production and its relationship to politics, where scientometrics rises as a discipline. We close with a discussion of the criticisms to Merton’s theses and the contribution this author has made to the sociology of science.
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