BSSRS was a part of a much wider movement of intellectuals and technicians that had deep historical roots in the history of radical and trades union politics but became a ferment in response to the Vietnam War and student movement of the mid-1960s. The movement had many facets.
Among them were...
- a call for more democracy in educational institutions and workplaces, especially student representation
- questioning hierarchies in medical and other training institutions
- more social accountability in industries and research institutions, e.g., opposing using university computers to plan bombing patterns in Viet Nam
- nuclear arms control
- opposition to the use of chemical and biological weapons, land mines and cluster bombs
- concern for over-use of pesticides and the 'Green Revolution'
- technologies of political control, including closed circuit television cameras
- psychiatric drugs
- in-vitro fertilization
- energy policy, particularly nuclear technologies
- concern about the social relations of production of knowledge, technologies and manufacturing, e.g., scientific management (Taylorism, Fordism)
- agitation about hazards at work
- anti-racist science teaching
- radical psychology, sociology, economics, geography
- radical history and philosophy of science
- feminism as applied to science, technology and medicine
There was a related movement about the politics of knowledge in the arts, social sciences, medicine and the natural sciences in which the frameworks of ideas, assumptions and theories of knowledge were scrutinized both politically and philosophically.These critiques extended to the philosophical and ideological aspects of all forms of expertise. An impression of the scope of this movement can be gained from the following list of periodicals (popup) (link to). Rudi Dutschke, a leader of the German student movement, referred to this overall movement as 'the long march through the institutions'.