The Bias of Science



Publication Details

Martin, B. (1979). The Bias of Science. Canberra: Society for Social Responsibility in Science (A.C.T.).

Additional Publication Information

From the back cover: How do values enter into science? And what values are they? In The bias of science, applied mathematician Brian Martin traces the issues involved in these questions from the details of scientific research work to the structure of the scientific community and of scientific knowledge. The bias of science starts out as a case study of two scientific research papers, which are about the pollution of the upper atmosphere by Concorde-type aircraft. The writers of these papers are shown to 'push their arguments' in various ways, such as through their technical assumptions. Dr Martin argues that the particular orientations of the authors of the papers can best be explained in terms of 'presuppositions' about what the scientists are trying to prove. Evidence that the existence of such presuppositions is a common and expected feature of science leads to analyses of other scientific papers, to surveys of the sociology and epistemology of science and the psychology of scientists, and to a comparison of communication of scientific ideas in scientific papers and newspapers.


According to the modern radical critique, science* is organised to serve production and profit and to enforce social control. This perspective may be obvious to some. But to others it is merely a meaningless or a false generalisation. For many scientists, the trouble with such a statement is that it doesn't have any connection with their day-to-day work. To most researchers, scientific work seems harmless if not positively beneficial to society.

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Society for Social Responsibility in Science

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