The sociology of science



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The educational system.

The maintenance and development of science is facilitated by an educational system that is sufficiently specialized for, and sympathetic to, the growing science of its time. For example, as we may learn from Ben-David (1960), new educational institutions developed for that purpose played an essential role in the development of French science during the early nineteenth century and in Germany a little later. All the modernizing countries of recent times, from Russia to the small and weak African countries, have greatly strengthened their educational systems at all levels because of their desire to improve their science. Before modern times, the universities were not the home of scientific development, which they have since become. As late as "the Great Instauration" of science in seventeenth-century England, the universities were still indifferent or hostile to science, but a variety of other extremely favorable social conditions helped science to nourish. This hostility continued for some time. Now, of course, a university that is hostile or indifferent to science can exist only in a society, or in one of its parts, that is content to remain a scientific backwater.






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