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Based on a review of its history, its present structure and its objective in the future, agroecology is defined as an integrative discipline that includes elements from agronomy, ecology, sociology and economics. Agroecology's credentials as a separate scientific discipline were measured against the norms of science, defined by Robert King Merton (1973): communalism, universality, disinterestedness, originality and doubt. It is concluded that agroecology meets many of these norms and where it differs, it does so in a way that perhaps anticipates the manner and the direction in which the social position of science is changing.