A Public Science

Gary Alan Fine

in Authors of the Storm

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780226249520
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226249544 | DOI:
A Public Science

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This chapter focuses on the organizational features of meteorology, particularly the position of operational meteorology as government-sponsored activity. The organization of operational meteorology highlights the tension between autonomy and control. Scientific domains are integrated into society and cannot be separated from the organizational infrastructure that they help create. Not only do sciences have managers, but they also have audiences. The presence of an audience produces demands for expertise. The chapter examines the implications of the organization of the National Weather Service as a governmental agency devoted to public science. It then explores how this occupation is linked to a set of clients on the output boundary of government meteorology—the public, the media, and private firms.

Keywords: operational meteorology; organization; autonomy; control; National Weather Service; public science; government agency

Chapter.  10850 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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