Hum 596: Democracy & Diversity in Science
Hum 596: Democracy & Diversity in Science
Hum 596: Democracy & Diversity in Science
Hum 596: Democracy & Diversity in Science

Hum 596: Democracy & Diversity in Science

Fellowship & Seminar (2009)

The Science Studies Network

The Syllabus

Syllabus

Faculty and Graduate Student Seminar co-facilitated with Julie Homchick, Sareeta Amrute, Angela Ginorio, and Andrea Woody (with support from the Science Studies Network research cluster at the Simpson Center for the Humanities)

Full Title: “Simpson Center for the Humanities Graduate Student and Faculty Seminar: Democracy and Diversity in Science”

Official Seminar Description

Science at its best—well functioning science—is often taken to exemplify democratic ideals of deliberation: the high value placed on the open exchange of ideas, requirements of public reporting not only of the results of inquiry but of their bases, and the emphasis on collective practices of critical scrutiny are key examples of deliberative processes that that are presumed necessary for, or central to, successful science. Dewey characterized democratic deliberation as an experimental process, while contemporary “proceduralist” theorists of science reframe ideals like objectivity in terms of well functioning processes of community deliberation which ensure that scientific inquiry draws on a rich and diverse a range of epistemic resources as possible. A growing body of historical and socio-cultural scholarship reinforces these normative arguments for broad critical engagement, throwing into relief the crucial contributions made to the sciences by diversity among its practitioners, and the forms and contexts of its practice. The goals of the Winter quarter SSNet seminar are to assess these lines of argument for recognizing the importance of diversity in science, and to articulate more clearly exactly how scientific practice is, or should be, informed by ideals of (democratic) deliberation.

What I Learned

This seminar was an opportunity for me (as a fellow in the Science Studies Network) to not only present my research and engage in conversations with like-minded scholars in Science and Technology Studies (STS), but also consider how my research on technologies and media figures into STS, methodologically speaking. By the seminar’s end, I determined that a majority of my scholarship is “big T” and “little S” when it comes to STS, and those scholars whose emphasis is primarily in Science Studies offered me insightful input on how the history, politics, and philosophy of science informs my research.

(The top image on the left is a screen shot, with a logo overlay, of the Science Studies Network (SSN) site, which is referenced above. The second image is a screen shot of the Network’s Facebook tag cloud, representing the various interests of those involved. The final two images are screen shots of the SSN site.)