JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2017

Presentation information

[JJ] Poster

M (Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary) » M-ZZ Others

[M-ZZ42] [JJ] Geoscience Studies: historical, philosophical and STS studies

Sun. May 21, 2017 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM Poster Hall (International Exhibition Hall HALL7)

[MZZ42-P01] The day after "the acceptance of the Plate Tectonics theory"

*Jun'ichi Chiba1 (1.O-hara Business College)

Keywords:The Acceptace of the Plate Tectonics Theory , The History of the Earth Sciences , Science, Technology and Society

Tomari (2008) concluded that acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics (PT) by the field of geology in Japan was around the year 1986, approximately 10 years behind the fields of seismology and geophysics. As one of the grounds for this, Tomari cited the curve of the increase in the frequency of use of "plate words" among the keywords of presentations of the Seismological Society of Japan and Geological Society of Japan. By contrast, Shibasaki (2011) questioned whether this comparison could be explained by the concept of "field" as defined by Bourdieu and not the timing of acceptance of PT theory. Moreover, Chiba (2016) demonstrated that in response to this question by Shibasaki, we can explain the comparison by Tomari concerning differences in geological and geophysical methods/terminology.
The present study compares the literature of regional geology since 1986, in which the geological field of Japan is indicated to have accepted PT theory, concerning what sort of characteristics are seen in studies that clearly deny PT theory, those that do not use "pate words" in the description, and those that conversely attempt to use "plate words." It can be said that the principal aim of regional geology is to describe the geology and structure of a specific area and further aims to clarify the history of structural development of the area (naturally, this does not exclude the possible establishment of applications to resources/environment or general theories concerning geological phenomena or further targets). Therefore, it is possible that the description of researchers may be an influenced by the regional geological status, which is the main field. It is possible that individual geologists have controlled the process of acceptance of PT theory.
Following the "science wars" in the 1990s, especially the Sokal affair, it has been said that "science is co-produced from nature and society" (Andrew Pickering, 1995, etc.). Tomari (2008) clarified the so-called social aspect of the process of PT theory acceptance as a scientific affair in Japan. Interesting problems still remain unsolved regarding the aspect of "interactions of nature and researchers." This presentation aims to discuss the relationship between the field as a research subject of geologists and the process of acceptance of PT theory.