What does a book such as this accomplish? One, it shows the wide diversity of approaches, methods and themes in understanding the activity of science from a broader social perspective. Ideas and products do not arise in an epistemological vacuum. Every new thought in science is a product of various social factors, including forms of institutionalization, collaboration, access to resource, access to network, and so on. Science and Technology Studies (STS) exhibits the full richness and complexity of the social practice of science. For this reason, such a Handbook would be valuable to those who are interested in the question of these links that make science possible as well as professionals in the field who can have access to a list of contemporary themes, approaches and references.
What can such a book accomplish in the Indian context? Handbooks such as these are extremely important in the Indian context. In India, there is a strong resistance to the professionalization of science and technology studies. The blind support to science education, the destruction of quality education in the social sciences and humanities, excessive glorification of the scientific method are some of the reasons why it has been impossible to establish programmes in science studies in the country.