Call for Abstracts: Canadian Sociological Association

Canadian Sociological Association Annual Meeting and Conference 2010

May 31-June 4, Concordia University, Montreal

Sociological Engagements with Science

Writing during the Second World War, the eminent sociologist Robert K. Merton provided an enduring sketch of the “ethos of science”. Modern  science, he suggested, is characterized by four sets of normative,  institutional imperatives: universalism; communism (of method);  disinterestedness; and organized skepticism. By the end of the 20th  century, however, many argued that science had fundamentally changed,  and that it was no longer possible (if it ever had been) to think of  science in terms of the norms identified by Merton.

Contemporary science, in its multiple and variegated layers of complexity, confronts sociologists with both a wealth of knowledge, and a host of analytic challenges. We invite 250 word abstracts for papers, to be presented on a panel at the 2010 Canadian Sociological Association Annual Meeting, May 31-June 4 in Montreal, on sociological engagements with science. Which contemporary scientific questions have the greatest sociological significance, and why? How can sociologists best study, and/or engage with, contemporary science? How are sociologists engaging and/or collaborating with scientists themselves? What new ontological, epistemological, and methodological challenges is this collaboration presenting sociologists of science?

Possible topics include:

  • Economies of Science
  • Commercialization of/in Science
  • Funding Science
  • The Governance of Science
  • The Role of Science in Governance
  • Science Policy
  • The Sociology of Science vs. Science & Technology Studies -Ontology,
  • Epistemology, and Methodology in Science
  • Constructivism(s) vs. Realism(s)
  • The Problems and Prospects of Science -Activism and Science

Abstracts will be accepted until February 20, 2010. Notification of acceptance will be communicated by March 1, 2010. Abstracts may be submitted via email to

Session Organizers:

Martin French
Postdoctoral Fellow
Health Policy, Management and Evaluation University of Toronto,
Faculty of Medicine
155 College Street, 4th floor
Toronto, ON, M5T 3M6
Phone: 416-946-5409

Christopher Canning
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Social Studies of Medicine McGill University
3647 Peel, Room 207
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1X1

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