Social Control and Multiple Discovery in Science

The Opiate Receptor Case

By Susan E. Cozzens

Series: SUNY series in Science, Technology, and Society
Paperback : 9780887069369, 236 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780887069352, 236 pages, July 1989

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Table of contents

List of Tables


1. Introduction

Priority Disputes

Third Parties

Moral Response

2. The Similarity Dilemma

Individual and Culture

Community and Culture

The Operational Problem of Similarity

A Different Problem of Similarity

3. Defining the Discovery

Issues in Priority Disputes

The Meaning of Priority

The Problem of Assigning Priority

Rules or Criteria?

The Theory of Third Parties

Moral Response

4. The Case Study

Drug Receptors

The Opiate Breakthrough



The Data

Choice of Case Study

5. Discoveries

The Opiate Receptor Hypothesis

Claims to the Discovery

Similarities and Differences

The Eureka Syndrome

6. Agreements and Disagreements

A Similarity Dilemma

Conflict and Accommodation

Broken Peace

Moral Force

Goldstein: Success or Failure?

Terenius: The Optional Co-Discoverer

Terenius on the Multiple

Overall Generosity

A Note on the Priority Issues

7. Third Parties as Bystanders





Credit-Seeking Behavior

Snyder's Style


The Structure of Ambivalence

8. Recognition

News Items

Review Literature

Experimental Literature


9. Multiple Discovery and Social Control

The Identity of the Discovery

Sociological Ambivalence


Third Party Roles

Social Control in Science


A. Interviews

B. Contents of the Discovery Papers

C. Letter of Introduction 1

D. Letter of Introduction 2

E. Description of Citing Article Data Base





Recognition for accomplishment is a major institutional reward in the scientific community, thus regulating disputes over credit for discovery, can be viewed as an important problem in social control. Cozzens examines a well-known dispute — one that took place with the discovery of the opiate receptor in neuropharmacological research.

The issues Cozzens discusses — priority disputes, social control, and norms and morals — are important throughout the sciences; they are crucial factors in the lives of scientists, the functioning of scientific communities, and the day-to-day operations of scientific organizations.

Susan E. Cozzens is Assistant Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


"The study produces significant advances in the understanding of the social structure and the norms of science. Science is a vital component of modern society, and it is therefore highly important that a wide public understand not only the outputs of science but the social processes related to the making of discoveries. It is not enough to communicate that scientists are 'human' (i. e., competitive or vulnerable or dishonest); it is necessary to appreciate the social system in which they operate. This book contributes such insight. Cozzens has excellent command of the literature on scientific discovery and takes imaginative advantage of her familiarity with the relatively new method of citation analysis. " — Elinor G. Barber, Institute of International Education

"This book will be standard reading for all sociologists who are keen on contemporary science studies. " — Dr. Augustine Brannigan, University of Calgary