Anthropology 455: An Introduction to Science and
Sewall Hall 207A
Sewall Hall 578
Sewall Hall 580
This class is an introduction to the field of "Science and Technology
Studies." The premise of this field is that science and technology
are an integral part of contemporary societies - just as culture,
politics and economics are built in to contemporary science.
Science, technology and society may therefore be analyzed together,
using methods and theories of the social sciences and humanities.
Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of this
interdisciplinary field by reading research and theoretical works
drawn from anthropology, history, sociology and philosophy; some of
the major innovations in the field will be studied in depth. The
class will simultaneously analyze examples and problems that
illustrate how to apply these works to the contemporary world.
Examples will span a wide range of disciplines from computer science
to biomedicine, but no prior scientific knowledge or technical
expertise is assumed. The goal is for students to become skilled at
analyzing science and technology from a social and cultural
standpoint, and to cross some of the assumed and traditional
boundaries between scientists, humanists and social scientists.
Open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
Students are required to attend all classes, complete all reading
assignments, and participate in discussion. Each student will be
responsible for presenting on some portion of the readings. A
research paper will also be required.