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Science and Technology Studies presentation


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Science and Technology Studies presentation

  1. 1. Science and Technology Studies<br />Presented by: ToriRoggen<br />1<br />
  2. 2. What is Science and Technology Studies?<br />Many Definitions… “Even the name of the field is not uniform” –Hess (pg. 2)<br />“Today, we all work in the broad, interdisciplinary field of STS to understand and influence how society shapes science and technology, and how in turn science and technology shape society and the environment.” --RPI’s description of their STS program<br />“Hybrids ourselves…half engineers, half philosophers.”– Latour (pg. 3)<br />“Science and Technology Studies is a flourishing interdisciplinary field that examines the creation, development, and consequences of science and technology in their cultural, historical, and social contexts.” – The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies<br />“Science and technology studies (STS) is a growing field of study in the United States and around the world that seeks to understand how science and technology shape human lives and livelihoods and how society and culture, in turn, shape the development of science and technology.” – University of Wisconsin STS program<br />Students and scholars in the field of science and technology studies want to know how scientific knowledge is produced. We believe that the idealized accounts of knowledge production entrenched in our scientific belief system are inadequate, given the complexity of the process they claim to describe. – Brown University’s Program Description<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Variances<br />Mertonianism<br />Sociology of Scientific Knowledge<br />Ethnomethodology<br />Social World theory<br />Actor Network theory<br />3<br />
  4. 4. How do we define Science and Technology studies?<br />My definition…<br />Your definition<br />How do you define Science and Technology Studies?<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Examples of Current Topicsin Science Studies<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Making Masculinity in Plasma Physics: Machines, labour and experimentsHelena Petterson– January 2011, Science Studies<br />Abstract:<br />The aim of this article is to analyze masculinity and experimental practices among plasma physicists. The study is based on ethnographic field work with observations and interviews among experimental plasma physicists in a laboratory in the United States. Through daily practices and hands-on situations, the experimental plasma physicists denied their experimental work as strongly associated with masculinity. Both practices and discourses about working with the experiments were fringed with connotations of a craft, of strength and physical efforts. Together, the practices and discourses were used as marks of identity for the laboratory and for the group of physicists within.<br /><br />6<br />
  7. 7. The Entanglement of Gender and Physics: Human Actors, Work place Cultures, and Knowledge ProductionHelene Götschel– January 2011– Science Studies<br />Abstract: <br />Research in an area that might be called gender and physics lies neither in the focus of science studies nor in the centre of gender studies. However, there is a rich tradition of interdisciplinary research that studies the entanglement of gender and physics from different perspectives. In this review article, I give a survey on this inadequately discussed research area by presenting selected examples of often-cited as well as internationally less known literature. Furthermore, I propose a systematization of three different dimensions, comprising research on human actors, work place cultures, and knowledge production in physics. In so doing, I uncover some achievements and gaps of this interdisciplinary research. Following E. F. Keller (1995), I finally plea for a trading zone for scholars working on the entanglement of gender and physics.<br /><br />7<br />
  8. 8. Work and family conflict in academic science: Patterns and predictors among women and men in research universitiesMary Frank Fox, Carolyn Fonseca and JinghuiBaoOctober 2011– Social Studies of Science<br />8<br />Abstract:<br />This article addresses work–family conflict as reported among women and men academic scientists in data systematically collected across fields of study in nine US research universities. Arguing that academic science is a particularly revealing case for studying work–family conflict, the article addresses: (1) the bi-directional conflict of work with family, and family with work, reported among the scientists; (2) the ways that higher, compared with lower, conflict, is predicted by key features of family, academic rank, and departments/institutions; and (3) patterns and predictors of work–family conflict that vary, as well as converge, by gender. Results point to notable differences, and commonalties, by gender, in factors affecting interference in both directions of work–family conflict reported by scientists. These findings have implications for understandings of how marriage and children, senior compared with junior academic rank, and departmental climates shape work–family conflict among women and men in US academic science.<br /><br />
  9. 9. Society for the Social Study of Science (4S)<br />9<br />Topics in STS<br />Current Conference Titles<br />Interferometric Investigations of Physical Knowledge and Gender in the Making Centre for Gender Rese<br />Hard Sex: Sex, Science and Technology<br />Governing Futures Imagining, Negotiating & Taming Emerging Technosciences<br />Innovation, Diversity and Sustainable Development in Areas of Social Vulnerability<br />Making (In)Appropriate Bodies—Between Medical Models of Health, Moral Economies and Everyday Prac<br />The Governance of Innovation and Socio-Technical Systems: Theorising and Explaining Change<br /><br />
  10. 10. The Central Variant<br />Sociology of Scientific Knowledge<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Sociology of Scientific Knowledge<br />11<br />How do we know what we know? <br />We can question the basis of scientific knowledge ad infinitum. <br />“How do we tell the difference between a heap or sand and not a heap of sand?” --Cussins<br />What is something that we know in science?<br />
  12. 12. Black Box <br />12<br />
  13. 13. Black Box<br />13<br />The Black Box concept is that previous scientific knowledge has already deemed that something is true and thus everything builds off of it.<br />Examples:<br />DNA<br />Solar Neutrinos<br />
  14. 14. Actor-Network Theory<br />Latour<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Actor-Network Theory<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Actor-Network Theory in Plain English<br />16<br /><br />
  17. 17. Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity<br />The Sokal Affair<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Alan Sokal<br />18<br /> “There are many natural scientists, and especially physicists, who continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social and cultural criticism can have anything to contribute, except perhaps peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt in the light of such criticism. Rather, they cling to the dogma imposed by the long post-Enlightenment hegemony over the Western intellectual outlook, which can be summarized briefly as follows: that there exists an external world, whose properties are independent of any individual human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are encoded in ``eternal'' physical laws; and that human beings can obtain reliable, albeit imperfect and tentative, knowledge of these laws by hewing to the ``objective'' procedures and epistemological strictures prescribed by the (so-called) scientific method.”<br /> “One characteristic of the emerging postmodern science is its stress on nonlinearity and discontinuity: this is evident, for example, in chaos theory and the theory of phase transitions as well as in quantum gravity. At the same time, feminist thinkers have pointed out the need for an adequate analysis of fluidity, in particular turbulent fluidity. These two themes are not as contradictory as it might at first appear: turbulence connects with strong nonlinearity, and smoothness/fluidity is sometimes associated with discontinuity (e.g. in catastrophe theory); so a synthesis is by no means out of the question.”<br />
  19. 19. Confused?<br />19<br />
  20. 20. Just Kidding… <br />20<br />Alan Sokal submitted the piece Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity to the journal “Social Texts” in November of 1994 and it was published in a special spring-summer issue in 1996.<br />But the whole paper was a joke… <br />The paper basically claimed that gravity was socially constructed and that quantum gravity has specific political implications. <br />
  21. 21. So why would someone do that?<br />21<br />Guesses?<br />(This is considered a gross violation of ethical conduct in academia by many)<br />
  22. 22. Why?<br />22<br />Sokal was a physicist who noticed that some of the “scientific” works that were making it into “peer reviewed journals” were full of “scientific illiteracy”<br />“But why did I do it? I confess that I'm an unabashed Old Leftist who never quite understood how deconstruction was supposed to help the working class. And I'm a stodgy old scientist who believes, naively, that there exists an external world, that there exist objective truths about that world, and that my job is to discover some of them.”  --Alan Sokal<br />Sokal also stated “Theorizing about the “social construction of reality” won't help us find an effective treatment for AIDS or devise strategies for preventing global warming.” <br />
  23. 23. How?<br />23<br />Basically, Sokal used a bunch of scientific jargon, but did so in a way that it sounded good. <br />He also flattered the editors by submitting a highly scientific piece to their not so scientific journal<br />
  24. 24. What’s wrong with this statement?<br />24<br />“One characteristic of the emerging postmodern science is its stress on nonlinearity and discontinuity: this is evident, for example, in chaos theory and the theory of phase transitions as well as in quantum gravity” <br />
  25. 25. What did we learn?<br />25<br />Always have an expert check a submission if it is outside your area of expertise!<br />People will accept things if it sounds good and sounds like something they believe.<br />Put the integrity of the field in jeapordy.<br />
  26. 26. The War Continues<br />26<br />In the weeks and months that followed the Sokal Affair continue to play out in the intellectual arena through a series of essays.<br />Of interest is the one by Bruno Latour…<br />“Latour believes that Physicists are “deprived of their hefty cold war budgets” and are therefore just looking for something to do, thus making “post-modern” intellectuals their targets.<br />
  27. 27. My Interdisciplinary Major<br />Interdisciplinary Field<br />27<br />
  28. 28. B.A.L.A. in Public Health<br />B.A.L.A.- Bachelors of the Arts in Liberal Arts… Basically Purchase’s “make your own major” or “individual studies program”<br />I believe there is a need for Public Health Professionals to understand both the science behind health and to understand the “public” in a political, sociological, and psychological sense.<br />Thus I created this major with a foundation in math and science and then added sociology, political science, psychology and gender studies courses to it.<br />28<br />
  29. 29. (and Itunes will work)<br />If there’s time…<br />29<br />
  30. 30. Bruno Latour on the Movie Avatar<br />30<br />Bruno Latour’s April 13th, 2011 lecture at Zeppelin University (Germany)<br />Latour also makes an example of the movie Avatar in his prologue in a recently submitted work titled “An attempt at a “Compositionist Manifesto”<br />He is fascinated by the cultural and Biological “network” the Navi’s have with “Eywa.” <br />
  31. 31. Bruno Latour Video Info<br />31<br />Time segments where he covers Avatar: 7.42-15.00 (the whole thing is pretty interesting though if you have the time)<br />Itunes: Search Bruno Lateur and choose: “A day with Bruno Latour” in Itunes U or try the link below:<br /><br />
  32. 32. If you have any questions about anything that I said from my notes, that wasn’t on the slides feel free to email me and I’ll try to organize them enough to send to you. <br /><br />Thanks for Listening!<br />32<br />