Focuses on the study of S&T activities regarded as forms of social action, particularly with regard to the understanding of scientific and technical knowledge in society. The patterns of formal and informal organisation characterising these activities have played a major role in shaping the specific features of these activities. Recent research conducted in this area includes the study of international scientific cooperation, the analysis of the assessment mechanisms used by Development Agencies, the creation of research institutes in the state of São Paulo, and the dynamics of the scientific community.