Fishing for Truth|
A Sociological Analysis of Northern Cod Stock Assessments from 1977 to 1990
Alan Christopher Finlayson
Fishing for Truth is the complex story of the role of science in the decline of the Northern
cod stocks off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador over the period 19771990. At issue
in Fishing for Truth are conflicting and contradictory interpretations of recent events,
institutional and scientific texts, and scientific data. The central claim of the book is that
all knowledge, including scientific knowledge, is influenced by social process.
Finlayson, a sociologist, conducted extensive interviews with scientists and bureaucrats in the
Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO); he argues that failures to predict fish stocks
is closely related to the failure to recognize how scientists' interpretations of natural reality
are themselves socially constructed to a crucial degree.
". . . provides a concise, sophisticated case study which would make a worthwhile addition
to any reading list concerned with the dynamics of knowledge construction and scientific
controversies."--Social Studies of Science, vol. 26 (1996) pp. 182186.