Steven Shapin

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Steven Shapin, 2015

Steven Shapin (born 11. September 1943 in New York City) is an American historian and sociologist of science. He is the Franklin L. Ford Research Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is considered one of the earliest scholars on the sociology of scientific knowledge, and is credited with creating new approaches.


  • In 1680, Robert Boyle published the Second Part of his Continuation of New Experiments Physico-mechanical, Touching the Spring and Weight of the Air. ...According to Boyle's preface, the experimental work... was mainly done by a remunerated technician... Denis Papin. The air-pump with which the experiments were performed was... of Papin's own design... At least some, and perhaps the greatest part, of the design of the experimental project was also owing to the technician. ...It seems also that the technician was partly, if not mainly, responsible for the composition of the experimental narratives.
    • Steven Shapin, A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (1994)

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