Bridging the gap between the two scientific areas

Prpić, Katarina (2009) Bridging the gap between the two scientific areas. In: Beyond the myths about the natural and social sciences: a sociological view. Edition Science and Society (28). Institut za društvena istraživanja, Zagreb, pp. 323-331. ISBN 978-953-6218-40-0

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Judging from the recruitment of research personnel, scientists’ organisational and cognitive context and career patterns, their output and cognitive convictions, the natural and social sciences show both similarities and significant differences. Although the differences between the two areas seem great, as in the orientation towards international and national research, or team and individual work, and even appear enormous as in the scientific production indexed in WoS, there are also similarities, even tendencies for cognitive practices to converge. Thus, the growing orientation towards team work, cooperation, and the international scientific scene can also be identified in social scientists, just as the lessening of those differences can be noticed over a relatively short period of time. Significant differences found in the cognitive convictions of researchers in the two scientific areas do not seem that great considering the theoretical expectations or the described cognitive styles of the natural and social sciences. For this reason, the claim of the unbridgeable gap between the natural and social sciences seems more of a myth when viewed through our empirical results than as a well-founded presupposition. The theories of scientific fields or organisations are superior to the unitary concept of science in their explanation of the differences in the social and intellectual organisation of scientific fields. Yet, they fail to explain the common features of scientific fields without demarcating science and other knowledge and belief producers. When such a modification is made, these theories (as shown by our findings) can successfully interpret both the common and the specific in the social organisation, professional and career patterns, research production and in the scientists’ cognitive convictions.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Language: English. Publication is also published in Croatian. Title in Croatian: K premošćivanju premostivoga jaza među dvama područjima (URI:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Natural sciences, social sciences, social and intellectual organization of science, socio-cognitive similarities and differences (prirodne znanosti, društvene znanosti, društvena i intelektualna organizacija znanosti, sociokognitivne sličnosti i razlike)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Karolina Vranješ
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 13:31
Last Modified: 13 May 2015 10:48

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