What qualifies such seemingly disparate disciplines as paleontology, high-energy physics, industrial chemistry and genetic engineering as "sciences"? In this introduction to science Steve Fuller argues that if these disciplines share anything at all, it is more likely to be the way they strategically misinterpret their own history than any privileged access to the nature of reality. The book features a report written in the persona of a Martian anthropologist who systematically compares relgious and scientific institutions on earth, only to find that sicence does not necessarily live up to its own ideals of rationality. In addition, Fuller highlights science's multicultural nature through a discussion of episodes in which the West's own understanding of science has been decisively affected by its encounters with Islam and Japan. An important theme of the book is that science's most attractive feature - its openness to criticism - is threatened by the role it increasingly plays in the maintenance of social and economic order.