Author Archives: Robert Frodeman

Perspective: Philosopher’s Corner: The End of Puzzle Solving


This article is in The Energy Transition, Winter 2017


Back in the mid-1990s, social commentary on science was dominated by the “science wars”—crossfire between one or another humanist scholar and the science establishment. The conversation was often shrill. Observers such as French sociologist Bruno Latour delighted in highlighting the ways in which values were embedded within scientific work. In furious counterattack, scientific realists such […]




Humanities for Policy—and a Policy for the Humanities


This article is in Flaws In Forensic Science, Fall 2003


In our own work, we have found that public science offers a rich initial opportunity for testing the hypothesis that the humanities have the potential to make greater contributions to policy development and societal outcomes. Public science agencies offer a unique point of entry for humanities policy because of their nature as boundary institutions. Organizations […]




Beyond the Social Contract Myth


This article is in Issues in Focus: Science and the Law, Summer 2000


Science should move beyond a contractual relationship with society and join in the quest for the common good. In January of 1803, six months before Napoleon offered him the Louisiana Territory, President Thomas Jefferson asked Congress for an appropriation of $2,500 to conduct a scientific and geographic survey of the North American West. In his […]




Perspective: Science’s Social Effects


This article is in Seeing Through Preconceptions: A Deeper Look at China and India, Spring 2007


We need to explore the possibility of a new ideal of impure science, in which scientists and engineers both educate and learn from others about the relation between science and society. In 2001, the National Science Foundation (NSF) told scientists that if their grant proposals failed to address the connection between their research and its […]