The Reading of Scientific Texts: Questions on interpretation and evaluation, with special reference to the scientific writings of Ludwik Fleck
2007 (English)In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, ISSN 1369-8486, E-ISSN 1879-2499, Vol. 38, no 1, 136-158 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Ludwik Fleck is remembered for his monograph published in German in 1935. Reissued in 1979 as Genesis and development of a scientific fact Fleck's monograph has been claimed to expound relativistic views of science. Fleck has also been portrayed as a prominent scientist. The description of his production of a vaccine against typhus during World War II, when imprisoned in Buchenwald, is legendary in the scholarly literature. The claims about Fleck's scientific achievements have been justified by referring to his numerous publications in international scientific journals. Though frequently mentioned, these publications have scarcely been studied. The present article discusses differences in interpretation and evaluation of science in relation to the background of the interpreters. For this purpose Fleck's scientific publications have been scrutinized. In conjunction with further sources reflecting the desperate situation at the time in question, the results of the study account for a more restrained picture of Fleck's scientific accomplishments. Furthermore, based on the review of the latter, certain demands characterizing good science could be articulated. The restricted possibilities of those not trained in science or not possessing field specific knowledge, evaluating science are discussed, as are also formal aspects of scientific papers and questions related to research ethics.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 38, no 1, 136-158 p.
Ludwik Fleck; Research ethics; Scientific writings; Typhus vaccine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6680DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2006.12.008PubMedID: 17324812ScopusID: 2-s2.0-33847156355OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-6680DiVA: diva2:11457
QC 201008262006-12-222006-12-222010-11-30Bibliographically approved