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(Un)Boxing the Monster

Evelleen Richards
Social Studies of Science
Vol. 26, No. 2, Special Issue on 'The Politics of SSK: Neutrality, Commitment and beyond' (May, 1996), pp. 323-356
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/285422
Page Count: 34
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(Un)Boxing the Monster
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Abstract

This paper engages with the debate over SSK's normative role (and over the moral and political responsibilities of the SSK analyst) by utilizing a 'sociology of monsters' framework to criticize Collins' insistence on the methodological and political necessity of neutrality, and his associated principles of compartmentalization and alternation. The advantages of viewing the analyst as an exemplary monster - as marginal to, or simultaneously inhabiting, a number of intersecting social worlds - are explored through a discussion of my attempts to draw on my contextualized SSK analysis of the vitamin C and cancer controversy, to inform policy recommendations intended to address asymmetries of power in the conduct and evaluation of clinical trials.

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