This book has its origins in the annual conference of the British Sociological Association in 1987, held in the University of Leeds on the theme "Science, Technology and Society". The papers are a selection from among those presented in Leeds and explore aspects of the current scientific-technological "revolution". Some popular ideas are challenged and so too, implicitly, are certain large-scale social scientific theories claiming to have discerned in science and technology an overall meaning. The studies follow a sequence, beginning with the demonstration of different levels of methodological approach, continuing with forms of new technology at work, and concluding with instances of scientific research and its application and of professional practice. Each study is empirical in nature, the fruit in some cases of many years of enquiry. Complexity and subtlety of issue and outcome are the main emphases of "Deciphering Science and Technology", the cumulative effect of which is to show how involved science and technology are with the workings of society today, and how, because of this, their "human" side requires disciplined and painstaking unravelling - or deciphering.