Go Strong or Go Home: An Interview with David Bloor

Author Info
Chih-Tung Huang

Widely read in many areas, Professor David Bloor is arguably the pre-eminent authority in the field of STS (Science, Technology and Society). Since his influential book, Knowledge and Social Imagery, was published in 1976, the Strong Programme and its four tenets have become widely known. Professor Bloor was a member of the so-called Edinburgh School who proposed that scientific knowledge could not, and should not, be exempted from sociological analysis. Inspired by Witthenstein’s philosophy, Professor Bloor and his colleagues introduced the concept of finitism to further explain why all knowledge claims are constructed in a specific social frame, to which sociologists have a lot to contribute. Noting the special intellectual position of finitism, this interview started from this topic. We then moved onto the achievements of the Strong Programme in the past thirty years. Professor Bloor also explained his recent work and the way STS beginners discover meaningful case studies. We ended this interview by asking his suggestions toward the burgeoning STS field in East-Asia. This interview with Professor Bloor is a step toward a deeper understanding of Edinburgh School.

Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine, Number 10 (April 2010)