Epistemic Innovation

How Novelty Comes About in Science
  • Martina MerzEmail author


Recent scholarship in the social sciences subsumes the entire range of social innovations under the concept of innovation (e.g., Hutter et al., this volume; Rammert 2010, 2014; Passoth and Rammert, this volume). In this literature a concept of innovation oriented towards scientific and technical progress and its economic dimension serves as a counterfoil for such an expanded understanding of innovation. In so doing, technical innovations in particular but also scientific innovations are presumed to be adequately understood and rarely considered explicitly.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bachelard, Gaston. 1949. Le rationalisme appliqué. Paris: P.U.F.Google Scholar
  2. Braun-Thürmann, Holger. 2005. Innovation. Bielefeld: transcript.Google Scholar
  3. Edge, David, Rom Harré, Andrew Brown, Barry Barnes, Michael Mulkay, Steve Fuller, Martin Rudwick, Ronald N. Giere, and David Bloor. 1997. “Obituary: Thomas S. Kuhn (18 July 1922 – 17 June 1996).” Social Studies of Science 27(3): 483-502.Google Scholar
  4. Hacking, Ian. 1999. The Social Construction of What? Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Hutter, Michael, Hubert Knoblauch, Werner Rammert, and Arnold Windeler. This volume. “Innovation Society Today. The Reflexive Creation of Novelty.”Google Scholar
  6. Jasanoff, Sheila. 2012. “Genealogies of STS.” Social Studies of Science 42(3): 435-441.Google Scholar
  7. Keller, Evelyn Fox. 2000. “Models Of and Models For: Theory and Practice in Contemporary Biology.” Philosophy of Science 67(3): 72-86.Google Scholar
  8. Knorr Cetina, Karin. 1981. The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science. Oxford et al.: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  9. Knorr Cetina, Karin. 1992. “The Couch, the Cathedral, and the Laboratory: On the Relationship between Experiment and Laboratory in Science.” Pp. 113-138 in Science as Practice and Culture, edited by A. Pickering. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  10. Knorr Cetina, Karin. 1995. “Laborstudien: Der kulturalistische Ansatz in der Wissenschaftsforschung.” Pp. 101-135 in Das Auge der Wissenschaft: Zur Emergenz von Realität, edited by R. Martinsen. Baden-Baden: Nomos.Google Scholar
  11. Knorr Cetina, Karin. 1997. “Sociality with Objects: Social Relations in Postsocial Knowledge Societies.” Theory, Culture & Society 14(4): 1-30.Google Scholar
  12. Knorr Cetina, Karin. 2001. “Objectual Practice.” Pp. 175-188 in The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory, edited by T. Schatzki, K. Knorr Cetina, and E. von Savigny. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Knuuttila, Tarja and Martina Merz. 2009. “Understanding by Modeling: An Objectual Approach.” Pp. 146-168 in Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives, edited by H. W. de Regt, S. Leonelli, and K. Eigner. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  14. Knuuttila, Tarja, Martina Merz, and Erika Mattila. 2006. “Editorial: Computer Models and Simulations in Scientific Practice.” Science Studies 19(1): 3-11.Google Scholar
  15. Kuhn, Thomas S. 1970 [1962]. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kuhn, Thomas S. 1977 [1959]. “The Essential Tension: Tradition and Innovation in Scientific Research.” Pp. 225-239 in The Essential Tension: Selected Studies in Scientific Tradition and Change. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Latour, Bruno. 1983. “Give Me a Laboratory and I will Raise the World.” Pp. 141-170 in Science Observed: Perspectives on the Social Study of Science, edited by K. Knorr Cetina and M. Mulkay. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  18. Latour, Bruno and Steve Woolgar. 1986 [1979]. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lynch, Michael and Steve Woolgar, eds. 1990. Representation in Scientific Practice. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  20. Merz, Martina. 1999. “Multiplex and Unfolding: Computer Simulation in Particle Physics.” Science in Context 12(2): 293-316.Google Scholar
  21. Merz, Martina. 2002. “Kontrolle—Widerstand—Ermächtigung: Wie Simulationssoftware Physiker konfiguriert.” Pp. 267-290 in Können Maschinen handeln? Soziologische Beiträge zum Verhältnis von Mensch und Technik, edited by W. Rammert and I. Schulz-Schaeffer. Frankfurt a. M.: Campus.Google Scholar
  22. Merz, Martina. 2005. “Knowledge Construction.” Pp. 249-255 in Science, Technology, and Society: An Encyclopedia, edited by S. Restivo. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Merz, Martina. 2006. “The Topicality of the Difference Thesis—Revisiting Constructivism and the Laboratory.” Science, Technology & Innovation Studies (Special Issue 1): 11-24.Google Scholar
  24. Merz, Martina and Inge Hinterwaldner. 2012. “Neue Bilder, Modelle und Simulationen: Zwischen Repräsentativität und Produktivität.” Pp. 303-316 in Handbuch Wissenschaftssoziologie, edited by S. Maasen, M. Kaiser, M. Reinhart, and B. Sutter. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.Google Scholar
  25. Merz, Martina and Philippe Sormani, eds. 2016a. The Local Configuration of New Research Fields: On Regional and National Diversity. Cham et al.: Springer.Google Scholar
  26. Merz, Martina and Philippe Sormani. 2016b. “Configuring New Research Fields: How Policy, Place, and Organization Are Made to Matter.” Pp. 1-22 in The Local Configuration of New Research Fields: On Regional and National Diversity, edited by M. Merz and P. Sormani. Cham et al.: Springer.Google Scholar
  27. Morgan, Mary S. and Margaret Morrison, eds. 1999. Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Passoth Jan-Hendrik and Werner Rammert. This volume. “Fragmental Differentiation and the Practice of Innovation. Why Is There an Ever-Increasing Number of Fields of Innovation?”Google Scholar
  29. Pickering, Andrew. 1987. “Forms of Life: Science, Contingency and Harry Collins.” British Journal for the History of Science 20(2): 213-221.Google Scholar
  30. Pinch, Trevor J. 1997. “Kuhn—The Conservative and Radical Interpretations: Are Some Mertonians ‘Kuhnians’ and Some Kuhnians ‘Mertonians’?” Social Studies of Science 27(3): 465 -482.Google Scholar
  31. Rammert, Werner. 2010. “Die Innovationen der Gesellschaft.” Pp. 21-51 in Soziale Innovationen. Auf dem Weg zu einem post-industriellen Innovationsparadigma, edited by J. Howaldt and H. Jakobsen. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.Google Scholar
  32. Rammert, Werner. 2014. “Vielfalt der Innovation und gesellschaftlicher Zusammenhalt.” Pp. 619-639 in Vielfalt und Zusammenhalt. Verhandlungen des 36. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Bochum und Dortmund 2012, edited by M. Löw. Frankfurt a. M.: Campus.Google Scholar
  33. Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 1992. “Experiment, Difference, and Writing: I. Tracing Protein Synthesis.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 23(2): 305-331.Google Scholar
  34. Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 1997. Toward a History of Epistemic Things: Synthesizing Proteins in the Test Tube. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 2006. “Über die Kunst, das Unbekannte zu erforschen.” The Cogito Foundation. Retrieved December 15, 2015 (
  36. Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 2007. “Kulturen des Experiments.” Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 30(2): 135-144.Google Scholar
  37. Sismondo, Sergio. 1993. “Some Social Constructions.” Social Studies of Science 23(3): 515-553.Google Scholar
  38. Sismondo, Sergio. 2012. “Fifty Years of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Twenty-five of Science in Action.” Social Studies of Science 42(3): 415-419.Google Scholar
  39. Zammito, John H. 2004. A Nice Derangement of Epistemes: Post-positivism in the Study of Science from Quine to Latour. Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität KlagenfurtWienÖsterreich

Personalised recommendations