"Gravity's Shadow is an astonishing achievement, and gives the lie to the charge that sociologists of science have no idea how science really works. It is surely destined to become a definitive study of a science in the making."
(Robert Matthews New Scientist
"Over 800 pages long, the book charts the story of the quest to detect gravitational waves from the first small-scale experiments of the 1960s to the current generation of multimillion dollar observatories. It is a story replete with controversy, personalities, and large sums of money."
(Edwin Cartlidge Physics World
"Collins has presented us with an enthralling investigation into the way in which big science advances....a perfect case study in the sociology of science."
(David Hughes Times Higher Education Supplement
"A superb reference text on the history of one branch of physics and it will long be seen as a definitive study. . . . The more I delve into this book the more I like it. I think it is a work that will go down in history. It will be a significant book for historians and philosophers of science. It is also an interesting book for gravity-wave physicists to dabble in. It should be in university libraries, and for the average physicist it is definitely worth a browse."
(David Blair Physics World
"[It is] very timely that Harry Collins has written a first-class study of how contemporary experimental physics operates. Collins is a distinguished sociologist, and in Gravity’s Shadow he demonstrates why it is important to go beyond superficial characterizations of science to study how groups of scientists actually work. . . . The resulting narrative is as provocative as it is convincing. There is a lot written by philosophers and others about how science is supposed to work. But this is one of the very few books I’ve read that tries to help the reader understand what really goes on these days in the world of big science. . . . This is a book that everyone who cares about the future of science should read."
(Lee Smolin American Scientist
"The book will be valuable to readers who desire a detailed account of this growing field [of gravity-wave detection] and its sociological aspects, and to those interested in the history of science. It will also be helpful to students and others who wish to get first-hand accounts of what experimental physics can be like in practice.
"I do not know of any other book quite like Gravity’s Shadow. Collins has publicly announced his plan to produce a sequel when
gravity waves have been unambiguously detected on Earth. I hope he does not have too long to wait."
(Ronald W. P. Drever Physics Today
"Gravity's Shadow will function very well as an introduction to sociological studies of science. In addition to an explicit defense of sociological methodologies, Collins explains in detail and uses profitably many of the classic categories and approaches of the field. . . . Garvity's Shadow is an extremely impressive piece of scholarship that does justice to three decades of fioeldwork."
(Matthew Stanley British Journal of Sociology
"Gravity's Shadow performs a twofold act of preservation, and an enormous service, by capturing both the historical richness of gravitational wave research and the methodological reflections of one of science studies' most imaginative and engaging writers."
(Edward Jones-Imhotep Isis
"This book uncompromisingly shows the curbs, returns and negotiations associated with [this] scientific activity. Moreover, as it presents important and valuable sociological data on the funding and patronage of scientific research, it will also engender important discussions on the effectiveness of 20th century scince policies."
(Simone Turchetti Nuncius
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About the Author
Harry Collins is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at Cardiff University, where he directs the Center for the Study of Knowledge, Expertise, and Science. With Jay Labinger, he is coeditor of The One Culture? A Conversation about Science, published by the University of Chicago Press.