Bernal and the Social Function of Science

View Bernal and the Social Function of Science

Presenter: Chris Freeman

Published: March 2009

Age: All ages

Views: 1559 views

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Type: Lectures

Source/institution: Vega


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Chris Freeman, the founder and first director of the UK’s Science Policy Research Unit introduces Bernal, the father of the protein crystallography techniques which enabled the double helix structure of DNA to be unravelled. Bernal’s major impact on scientific research in the post-war industrialised economies through his 1939 treatise ‘The Social Function of Science’ is discussed. The presentation and ensuing debate also probe the complex political pressures to which Bernal was subject during the period 1930-60.

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