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Course Offerings

Course Details

Spring 2012-2013
SOC 356 (SA)  

Sociology of Science

Janet A. Vertesi

Science is a critical part of our modern world. But how is it actually done? And how does it affect our daily lives? Placing science in social context is essential to understanding it as a process, as an institution, and as a powerful and influential force in society. With examples such as controversies over cold fusion and HIV-AIDS research, the practices of genetic testing and brain scan analysis, the questions of nuclear weapons and climate change, forms of expertise and public policy, this course will introduce you to the exciting and growing field of the sociology of science.

Sample reading list:
Joe Dumit, Picturing Personhood: Brain Scans and Biomedical Identity
Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts
Anne Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics
Karen Rader, Making Mice: Standardizing Animals in Biomedical Research
Paul Edwards, A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data
Steve Epstein, The Construction of Lay Expertise: AIDS Activism

Reading/Writing assignments:
125 pages of reading per week. Short weekly reading responses (15%). Midterm exam. Research paper topic proposal and presentation, and a final research paper.

Requirements/Grading:
Mid Term Exam - 20%
Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Papers - 15%
Oral Presentation(s) - 10%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Other (See Instructor) - 15%

Other Requirements:
Open to Juniors and Seniors Only.

Other information:
Appropriate for Sociology and History of Science majors, Information Technology and Society certificates, and students in science-related fields. No prior experience in science necessary.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43150 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M   Wallace Hall   002   Enrolled:11 Limit:18