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Norms and Counter-Norms in a Select Group of the Apollo Moon Scientists: A Case Study of the Ambivalence of Scientists

Ian I. Mitroff
American Sociological Review
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Aug., 1974), pp. 579-595
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094423
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Norms and Counter-Norms in a Select Group of the Apollo Moon Scientists: A Case Study of the Ambivalence of Scientists
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Abstract

This paper describes a three and a half year study conducted over the course of the Apollo lunar missions with forty-two of the most prestigious scientists who studied the lunar rocks. The paper supports the Merton-E. Barber concept of sociological ambivalence, that social institutions reflect potentially conflicting sets of norms. The paper offers a set of counter-norms for science, arguing that if the norm of universalism is rooted in the impersonal character of science, an opposing counter-norm is rooted in the personal character of science. The paper also argues that not only is sociological ambivalence a characteristic of science, but it seems necessary for the existence and ultimate rationality of science.

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