Science Organizations and Careers: Essential Tensions

Daryl E. Chubin
Co-Chair, Understanding Interventions That Broaden Participation in Science

Series: Cultural Studies in the Third Millennium
BISAC: BUS012000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


Digitally watermarked, DRM-free.
Immediate eBook download after purchase.

Product price
Additional options total:
Order total:



What can one life teach about the unfolding of opportunities into developing careers? From a 20th century social scientist at the forefront of science education and science policy who transitioned between positions in universities, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations, we learn 21st century lessons.

Daryl Chubin speaks to students, educators, and program directors about demographic changes, forms of scholarship, the functions of community, and marginality as an analytical perspective on the contexts of careers. As physicist-historian Thomas Kuhn asserted in his 1977 book, The Essential Tension, a prerequisite for making progress in science is the need to preserve an essential tension between tradition and innovation. Similarly, one beholds “essential tensions” when looking in on organizations, policies, and careers.

As a white man studying the underrepresentation of women and persons of color in science and engineering, Chubin by definition was on the outside, different from his subjects while straddling a range of professional roles. He asks: What are the advantages and disadvantages of an outsider perspective? How should advocacy emerge from analysis? How do organizations capitalize on “difference”? If diversity, equity, and inclusion are valued, how does this change the way staff views its work, workforce, and place in the national culture?

Science Organizations and Careers illustrates that social science differs from natural science and engineering. Each has its methods, norms, and heroes, but social science looks in and is parasitic on scientists and engineers—administrators in research institutions, scholars, elected officials, and educators at all levels of sophistication. These have been Chubin’s subjects, colleagues, and conundrums. They have shaped him, bent him toward their view, educated, alienated, and applauded him.

Readers, too, will have their own characters, organizations, and ambivalence with which to cope in the contradictions of their careers. This book helps to make sense of it all.
(Imprint: Nova)



Chapter 1. In Sequence

Chapter 2. In Context

Chapter 3. On Difference

Chapter 4. The NSF I Knew

Chapter 5. Public Policy and the Evaluation of Talent

Chapter 6. Three for the Show

Chapter 7. What Is Scholarship?

Chapter 8. Contradictions of a Career

Chapter 9. On Talking with Strangers



"Daryl Chubin gives the reader insights that only being fully self-consciously on the margin of science education and science policy could provide. These are not mere reminiscences. Rather, he focuses an analytical lens on the nation's decades-long efforts to integrate women and historically underrepresented minorities into science." - Sheila Tobias, author of Overcoming Math Anxiety and They’re Not Dumb, They’re Different

"Daryl Chubin provides compelling insights from his transformative and varied career paths that swerved in several significant directions. This is revealed in his statement, "When I went to Washington in 1986, I was a researcher. I became something else." This gives a concise glimpse of his four decades in roles from an academic to senior governmental employee to substantive roles in non-governmental organizations as an individual committed to advancing equity. Chubin's experiences and reflections are well worth reading." - Henry Frierson, Associate Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School, University of Florida

"Essential Tensions is both an outsider memoir and an insider view of an era and a cause. Both heartfelt and analytical, it captures the restless trajectory of a champion of social justice." - Allan Fisher, co-author of Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing

You have not viewed any product yet.