The Scenes of Inquiry advocates a radical shift of concern in philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of the sciences, from answers and doctrines to questions and problems, and explores the consequences of such a shift.
In his Conclusion Nicholas Jardine writes: "The time has come for scientists to break with science. What started as a creative programme, liberating inquirers from limit-mythology of sciences, scientists might become more perceptive of their varied practices and of the workings of their own social and political institutions. They might recover their lost literary and aesthetic consciousness. They might re-engage in historical reflection. Then we should surely see a wonderful proliferation and enrichment of the sciences and of the lived experience of all who partake in them". Professor Jardine has expanded the book considerably for this paperback edition, adding a substantial preface, an extensive bibliography, and three new essays which develop its themes and pursue its aims further. These renew the book's interest and value for anyone interested in the workings of science and its role in our world.