Undergraduate Course: Investigating Science in Society (STIS08008)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||******THIS COURSE PREVIOUSLY RAN AS SCIENCE AND SOCIETY 1A (STIS08004)******
This course considers the social nature of science and scientific knowledge, as well as the relationship between science and wider society. Unit 1 (the anatomy of science) systematically explores important elements of scientific practice; for instance, observation, experimentation, theories and replication; and examines their fundamentally social character. In Unit 2 (Science Contextualised), students study the place of science in relation to, and as a central tool in shaping, other major social phenomena. Topics here include: Science and Politics; Science and the Environment; Science and the Law; Scientific Expertise in Society. The course studies science internally and externally using a variety of readings, including historical and sociological case studies from physics, biology and chemistry. The course will be intelligible to students of any disciplinary background.
This course is divided into 2 units. Unit 1 (the anatomy of science) systematically explores important elements of scientific practice; for instance, observation, experimentation, theories and replication; and examines their fundamentally social character. In Unit 2 (Science Contextualised), students study the place of science in relation to, and as a central tool in shaping, other major social phenomena. Topics here include: Science and Politics; Science and the Environment; Science and the Law; Scientific Expertise in Society.
Students can get a flavour of the course from a text that will be used several times: Steven Yearley, (2005). Making Sense of Science. London: Sage. This is available as an e-book in the library (and as an actual book).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|Prohibited Combinations|| Students MUST NOT also be taking
Science and Society 1A (STIS08004)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Question the usual picture of science as something separate from society, and of scientific knowledge as pure, objective truth. Replace this picture with a more nuanced and empirically accurate understanding of science, scientists and scientific knowledge.
- Appreciate and understand the complexities of scientific practice and of scientific judgement.
- Understand and make use of the basic tools of the sociology of science and of scientific knowledge. Grasp the central tenet that science is a social institution, and apply this comprehension in exploring the work of scientists, for example in legal or in media contexts.
- Describe the position of science as part of wider society, and account for the development of scientific knowledge in relation to other major social phenomena. Also, discuss the behaviour of scientists, politicians and other stakeholders based on such social factors.
- Be able to use both primary and secondary sources in essays and written analyses
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Generic Cognitive Skills: evaluating evidence to develop a clear and sustained argument in oral and written work.
Critical Analysis: making use of arguments developed by other people to carry out investigation; comparing and contrasting different perspectives; evaluating and critiquing different perspectives.
Communication: conveying information to different audiences; presenting and developing arguments in discussion; understanding and responding to others¿ arguments.
IT Skills: findings materials online; using resources like LEARN and Resource List.
Autonomy: prioritising objectives; carrying out independent reading and preparation; working to deadlines.
Working with Others: participating in oral discussions; engaging with different perspectives in productive ways.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||2 lecture and 1 tutorial per week
|Course organiser||Dr Pablo Schyfter
Tel: (0131 6)50 4262
|Course secretary||Miss Katarzyna Pietrzak
Tel: (0131 6)51 3162