Cookie policy: This site uses cookies to simplify and improve your usage and experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please take a look at our privacy and cookie policies. Your privacy is important to us and our policy is to neither share nor sell your personal information to any external organisation or party; nor to use behavioural analysis for advertising to you.

Constructed criticism

In trying to marginalise the sociology of scientific knowledge into its own little ghetto, Steven Weinberg ("A zing of truth", THES, January 6) asserts what he takes to be a forceful analogy -- that no one would write a book about mountaineering called Constructing Everest.

Of course one could write such a book and it would demonstrate the very issue that Weinberg (dis)misses: the class and nationality basis in the rise of Alpinism in the 19th century: the nationalistic rivalry in the conquest of physically remote sites; the romantic failure of Mallory and Irvine; the British triumph ushering in a New Elizabethan Age; the creation of a whole sub-technology devoted to high altitude climbing, etc, etc. Everest is nothing so simple as just a very high mountain. Indeed, The THES seems to recognise this, since in the same issue you have a picture of Everest captioned "Summit of ambition".

Hugh Robinson Computing department Open University

  • Print
  • Share
  • Save
  • Print
  • Share
  • Save
Jobs