(A contribution to “Guided e-trail on grassroots or citizen initiatives in shaping the directions taken in science and technology and drawing attention to their effects.” The entry point on the e-trail is Lee Worden’s essay, “Counterculture, cyberculture, and the Third Culture: Reinventing civilization, then and now”. My guide on how to interpret that point on the e-trail follows. Section 3 still needs to be completed. (Peter Taylor, March 2012 [who in 1974 coordinated the production of something like an Australian whole earth catalog].)
1. Initial proposition
The 1970s counterculture* with its emphasis on people getting together to create new organizations that prefigured the society they wanted (and differed from the existing social systems that they critiqued) influenced many people in the USA who went on to become scholars and writers about science in its social context. (Peter Taylor after memorial service for S. L. Star, August 2010)
(* Clicking on “The Farm” and the “Whole Earth Catalog” in this version of the diagram below will provide glimpses into the counterculture, albeit through websites created in the 21st century. Many other terms are also linked to relevant websites.)
2. Lee Worden article (mapped)
The same four currents–access to tools, rejection of the System (conformity, bureaucracy, large corporations), new, flexible organizations, and faith in individuals–lead to disparate outcomes. E.g., John Brockman celebrates individual scientists and their innovations and rejects social interpretations of science. Scientist Lee Worden promotes social movements for (and social interpretations of) change in society and science.
3. How then to make sense of the influence of the counterculture (c. 1970) on science-and-society connections?
Many kinds of approaches (hypotheses and methods) can be delineated (and will be added here in due course).