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Le pauvre Sokal

John Sturrock: The Social Text Hoax

16 July 1998
Intellectual Impostures 
by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont.
Profile, 274 pp., £9.99, October 1999, 1 86197 074 9
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... for the French thinkers who have come among us since the late Sixties, bearing what Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont would like to see ostracised as fatuous, if not actually nonsensical ideas.The authors are both professors of physics, Sokal in New York, Bricmont in Belgium, and it’s as hard scientists that they make ...

What’s in the bottle?

Donald MacKenzie: The Science Wars Revisited

9 May 2002
The One Culture? A Conversation about Science 
edited by Jay Labinger and Harry Collins.
Chicago, 329 pp., £41, August 2001, 0 226 46722 8
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... Sokal, the Nobel laureates Steven Weinberg and Kenneth Wilson, and their fellow physicists Jean Bricmont and David Mermin – with a selective group of the targets of their criticism: sociologists and social historians of science rather than, for example, literary or cultural studies theorists. The debate is joined also by a number of natural ...

Heat Death

Simon Schaffer: Entropists v. Energeticists

13 April 2000
Ludwig Boltzmann: The Man who Trusted Atoms 
by Carlo Cercignani.
Oxford, 329 pp., £29.50, September 1998, 0 19 850154 4
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... attempt would end in failure now seems self-evident.’ Then, in 1995, another Belgian physicist, Jean Bricmont, engaged in a fierce exchange with Prigogine in the pages of Belgium’s major physics journal. Cercignani here backs up Bricmont’s polemic: ‘Prigogine with his brilliant style writes sentences that may ...

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