How can we understand the intensifying interactions of science and society? It is the interdisciplinary field called science studies that provides us with a rich inventory of analytical approaches. They help us explore science as a practice, a subsystem, a culture, and an institution. Their joint observation: Science today is part and parcel of what has come to be known as 'knowledge society'. More than ever, knowledge production and consumption are in need of incessant monitoring and sophisticated reflection.
Nine exemplary studies that inquire into, or are themselves examples of the dynamics of scientific knowledge, are included here: They cover issues as diverse as eugenics, climate research, and the role of historiography, and make use of different tools such as evolutionary reasoning, metaphor, and bibliometrics. Finally, they ponder the need for science to go public (PUS) as well as for society to regulate knowledge and to restructure universities as building blocks of our science system. Their joint message: Science studies can and should assume an active role in observing, reflecting, and communicating the intricate encounters of science and society today.