In this seminar, we are going to discuss science as a culture and explore interactions between science, technology, and society. While most of the discussions will be on the cultural specificity of scientific knowledge production, particularly on the most recent ones, such as data-based knowledge, we will also discuss how science and technology have evolved historically. Among the topics critically examined are the philosophy of science. We will especially attend to positivism as a specific European knowledge form and to the idea of scientific rationality; how science and technology change; theoretical approaches to explaine the social workings of science and technology, including recent approaches emphasizing the social construction of technology and science in the twentieth century. By discussing the essential topics of science, technology, and society studies, the distinction between science and non-science are critically examined along with the idea of the autonomy of technology, science and laboratory practices. This theoretical framework is going to be discussed in relation to social and cultural topics in contemporary science and technology through ethnographic studies of science and focusing on data storage, data infrastructures, and the environmental impact of digital technologies.
After visiting this seminar, the students will:
-be able to reflect on science as a culture
-identify the main concepts and approaches regarding science, technology and society
-question different scientific discourses on scientific knowledge production
-interpret critically on digital technologies and data infrastructures
We will read and discuss academic texts, and ethnographic studies of science on these issues in English, and selected chapters from academic books. From time to time, we will supplement the academic class materials with discussions and analyses of news stories, films, and documentaries.
Semester: SoSe 2024