This course introduces students to a set of concepts that will allow them to understand science and technology as social institutions and systems of knowledge production.
This module provides a broad survey of sociological models for studying the complex relationship between science and society. It also examines sociological analyses for the construction of knowledge both through historical and contemporary studies. What are the main currents of thought influential in sociology of science and technology? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How have they influenced researchers across the whole range of science and technology studies?
The aim of this course is to undertake a detailed examination of the sociological contribution to the analysis of science and technology. It examines the complex relationship between science and society and also takes a sociological look at the process by which knowledge is constructed. The course introduces students to the main currents of thought which have been influential in sociology of science and technology through both historical and contemporary studies.
By the end of this module students should be able to:
- Have an understanding of how science and technology work as a social processes e.g. the way technical knowledge is produced by communities, and the way this knowledge in turn can reshape social structures and processes
- Have a detailed knowledge of the main concepts and theories in the sociology of science and technology.
- Be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of a range of sociological approaches to the analysis of science and technology.
- Begin to see links between sociological analyses of science and technology and broader debates in science policy, history of science and philosophy of science.