Books : reviews

Michael Gibbons, Camille Limoges, Helga Nowotny, Simon Schwartzman, Peter Scott, Martin Trow.
The New Production of Knowledge: the dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies.
SAGE. 1994

In this provocative and broad-ranging work, a distinguished team of authors argues that we are now seeing fundamental changes in the ways in which scientific, social and cultural knowledge is produced. They show how this trend marks a distinct shift towards a new mode of knowledge production which is replacing or reforming established institutions, disciplines, practices and policies.

Identifying a range of features associated with this new mode – reflexivity, transdisciplinarity, heterogeneity – the authors illustrate the connections between these features and the changing role of knowledge in social relations. While the main focus is on research and development in science and technology, the book outlines the changing dimensions of social scientific and humanities knowledge. The relations between the production of knowledge and its dissemination through education are also examined.

The New Production of Knowledge places science policy and scientific knowledge in its broader context within contemporary societies. It will be essential reading for all those concerned with the changing nature of knowledge, the social study of science, educational systems, and with the relations between R&D and social, economic and technological development.