Abstract

Though many are agreed that “technoscience” is a significant phenomenon, little systematic attention has yet been paid to the circumstances under which it has emerged. Technoscience is conceptualized here as the outcome of a process of convergence in which technological knowledge acquires many of the characteristics of scientific knowledge while the latter shifts in the opposite direction. The analytical problem is then a matter of understanding why such “drift” has occurred at particular times and places. The drift of higher technical education toward science has been observed in a variety of domains including engineering and medicine, but in this paper I identify such a trend in late nineteenth and early twentieth century agricultural education, with particular reference to Bavaria. The process is interpreted using a model of institutional dynamics loosely based upon Bourdieu's concept of the academic “field.”

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