The original essays collected here under the general title of The Knowledge Society were first commissioned for a conference held in the late fall of 1984 at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, West Germany. The conference in Darmstadt saw a larger number of contribu tions presented than could be accommodated in this edition of the Sociol ogy of the Sciences Yearbook. However, all contributions were important and affected those published in this collection. We are therefore grateful to all participants of the Darmstadt conference for their presentations and for their intense, useful as well as thoughtful discussion of all papers. Those chosen for publication in the Yearbook and those undoubtedly to be published elsewhere have all benefitted considerably from our discussions in Darmstadt which also included a number of the members of the edito rial board of the Yearbook. In addition, we are pleased that the authors were able to read and comment further on each other's papers prior to publication. As is the case in every endeavor of this kind, we have incurred many debts and are only able to acknowledge these at this point publicly while expressing our sincere thanks and appreciation for all the intellectual sup port and the considerable labor invested by a number of persons in the realization of the collection.
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