Harry Collins

Harry Collins is a distinguished sociologist whose work has played a significant role in shaping modern conceptions of the nature of scientific knowledge. Currently Professor of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, he made his name as a founder of the ‘Bath School’, which was concerned with problematizing the conventional positivist view that scientific knowledge is the result of a purely objective process of hypothesis, empirical observation and experimentation, emphasizing instead its status as a craft embedded in a myriad of social processes. In recent years, he has moved on to consider public involvement in science and the nature of scientific expertise, arguing that, although the overblown pretensions of scientific method have been misrepresented, science still has a valid moral claim to pre-eminence. This is a claim developed in his 2014 Polity book Are We All Scientific Experts Now? Polity also published his Why Democracies Need Science (with Robert Evans).