women and deconstruction/construction in scien

Patricia S. Bowne pbowne at omnifest.uwm.edu
Mon Apr 15 18:37:00 EST 1996


Karen -

Horrors! I have been using jargon without even realizing it!

I got the 'heroic model' term out of some history textbook.
It doesn't mean any of the things you mentioned, at least as
I understand it; rather it means something like what Jacob
Bronowski wrote (in a book titled something like 'Science,
Values and Society' - I'm writing at home, and don't have my
references handy). Anyway, the quote was something like this:

"In a world where politics and dogma are always ready to
threaten and cajole, the community of scientists is trained
to avoid and organized to resist every kind of argument
but fact" 

I know I have it wrong, but that's the best my memory will
do. In the book I got it from, the heroism of science lay
in the scientific community's standing up to dogma and 
insisting on the data. The book was setting it in the context
of WWII, when the nazis were expelling scientists who disagreed
with them from Germany - and also in the context of soviet
Russia and Lysenkoism. So I regard scientific heroism as very
much a community thing.

I can see how misleading the term is, though. I thought it was
common currency, because the person I talked about it with
understood - but he was the historian who loaned me this
book in the first place. Now I know better!

Pat Bowne



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