The science system of Western civilization is facing irreversible transformations. These transformations will affect the relationship between the public image of science and the actual practice within the sciences. In a situation in which scientists are increasingly asked , the alleged purity and objectivity of the sciences have to be reconsidered and we have to rethink the place of people in the knowledge produced by the sciences. Bringing together insights from social and historical studies of science, this article argues for the awareness of a more local, historically and socially contingent knowledge production, which can lead to a socially more robust science.
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