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Science and Society Program

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Sociology Department
Spring 2003 Schedule

This program is funded through a grant by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The goals are to increase understanding of the ethical and political dimensions of science among the faculty, and to develop science and society elements for existing courses or designing entire units for courses under revision. Below you will find the Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 schedule of topics explored in this course.
Campus Center
Room 313
(unless otherwise noted).

If articles and PowerPoint Presentations have a link just click to view.
(Click here for a printable version of this schedule.

Topic Leaders
Thurs. Sept. 12

MODULE 1: The History, Politics and Epistemology of Statistical Reasoning: The United States Census and Meta-Analysis [in Psychology] as Cases in Point.

Opening Remarks with Jenny and Paul.

[1] Patricia Cline Cohen, A Calculating People: The Spread of Numeracy in Early America [1982]; Chapter 5 and Conclusion.

[2] Margo Anderson and Stephen Fienberg, Who Counts? The Politics of Census-Taking in Contemporary America [revised edition: 2001], chapters 1-2 and 4-5.

Jenny Godley
Paul Jefferson
Ben Le
Rob Manning
Thurs. Sept. 19

The Census continued. Opening Remarks with Jenny and Rob.

Jenny and Rob's: PowerPoint presentation on Statistics and the Census and Census Simulations.

9:45am Guest discussion leader Lawrence D. Brown on "The Census". He visits us from The Wharton School and his areas of research include: Statistical decision theory; statistical inference; sequential analysis; nonparametric function estimation; foundations of statistics; sampling theory (census data). Campus Center Room 313.

[1] Margo Anderson and Stephen Fienberg, Who Counts? The Politics of Census - Taking in Contemporary America [revised edition: 2001], chapters 8-10.

[2] David A. Freedman and Kenneth W. Wachter, "On the Likelihood of Improving the Accuracy of the Census Through Statistical Adjustment," [28 June 2002], Technical Report No. 612, Statistics Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3860.

[3] The Census 2000 Debate [an exchange between Thomas Brunell and Margo Anderson/Stephen Fienberg].

Thurs. Sept. 19
Tea at 4:15pm
Lecture 4:30pm
Sharpless Auditorium

Dr. Lawrence D. Brown of the Wharton School. The title of his lecture is: "The 2000 Census. Was it accurate or inaccurate? Does it matter?".

Thurs. Sept. 26

The Census continued.

Readings for Thurs. Sept. 26.

[1] Bruce Rind et al. [1998], "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples," Psychological Bulletin, 124(1), 22-53.

[2] Steven J. Ondersma et al. [2001], "Sex with children is abuse: Comment on Rind...," Psychological Bulletin, 127(6), 707-714.

[3] Ellen Greenberg Garrison and Patricia Clem Kobor, "Weathering a Political Storm: A Contextual Perspective on a Psychological Research Controversy," American Psychologist, vol. 57, no. 3 [March 2002]: 165-175.

[4] Scott O. Lilienfeld, "When Worlds Collide: Social Science, Politics, and the Rind et al. (1998) Child Sexual Abuse Meta-Analysis," American Psychologist, vol. 57, no. 3 [March 2002]: 176-188.

Opening Remarks with Rob and Ben.

Rob and Ben: PowerPoint Introduction to Meta-Analysis.

10:00am Guest discussion leader, Bruce Rind (Temple University), on "Meta-analysis and a Psychological Research Controversy". Campus Center Room 313.

Thurs. Oct. 3

The Census continued.

Opening Remarks with Rob and Paul.

[1] Magali Sarfatti Larson, The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis [1977], Introduction and chapters 1, 3 [pp. 31-39 only], 6, 9 [pp. 136-145, and pp. 152 "From the 1890s on..." -158], and 11 [pp. 178 and 199-207 only].

[2] June Goodfield, Reflections on Science and the Media [AAAS, 1981], pp. 1-9, 31-36, and 87-101.

Thurs. Oct. 10 MODULE 2: Public health - using research on the development and efficacy of AIDS drugs as an example / case study. Issues explored in this section of the course could include: the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS; the development of drug formulations; the testing of new medications; public and private funding for the pharmaceutical industry; clinical trials; international health research; ethical issues in research on human subjects, etc.

Kaye is going to review some of the material with the group in the morning and Fran is going to talk about AIDS drugs and show some transparencies.

[1] Improving HIV Therapy, John G. Bartlett and Richard D. Moore. Scientific American July 1998, pp. 84-93. This is a well written and well illustrated document describing the biological aspects of the disease. The group can skim this article since it is rather long.

[2] Science Magazine Volume 272, Number 5270, Issue of 28 Jun 1996, pp. 1882-1883.

[3] Confronting the Limits of Success,
Jon Cohen. Science Magazine; Volume 296, Number 5577, Issue of 28 Jun 2002, pp. 2320-2324.

[4] China and AIDS--The Time to Act Is Now, Joan Kaufman and Jun Jing. Science Magazine; Volume 296, Number 5577, Issue of 28 Jun 2002, pp. 2339-2340.

10:00am Guest Discussion Leader Dr. Bruce Dorsey of Locus Discovery, Inc. is an organic chemist credited with synthesizing the AIDS drug, Crixivan (one of the most widely prescribed HIV drugs worldwide). Campus Center Room 313.

Fran Blase
Kaye Edwards
Anne Preston

Thurs. Oct. 10
Sharpless Auditorium

Dr. Bruce Dorsey of Locus Discovery, Inc. will speak about "The Design and Synthesis of Drugs Useful in the
Treatment of AIDS".
Fall Break
Thurs. Oct. 24

Public Health continued.

[1] Hope in a Vial. Will there be an AIDS vaccine anytime soon?, by Carol Ezzell. June 2002 Scientific American, Inc.
[2] Merck's Mission: An AIDS vaccine..., by Jon Cohen. Technology Review (Cambridge, Mass.) March 2002 vol. 105 i2 pp. 56-58.
[3] Creating Markets for New Vaccines. Part 1: Rationale by Michael Kremer. National Bureau of Economic Research. Published in Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1. Adam B. Jaffe, Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors MIT Press, 2001.

Fran Blase
Kaye Edwards
Anne Preston
Thurs. Oct. 31 Public Health continued.

[1] The Coming Plague, Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance, Laurie Garrett, Penguin Books 1994, pp. 334-361.
[2] Second Generation Surveillance for HIV: the next decade, World Health Organization.
[3] The Lancet, Vol. 360, July 6, 2002 Commentary "Evidence of success in HIV prevention in Africa".
[4] The Lancet, Vol. 360 July 6, 2002, Viewpoints The Uganda success story? Evidence and claims of HIV-1 prevention.
Friday Nov. 1
Stokes Auditorium
Guest lecturer on Chemical Ecology: Dr. Jerrold Meinwalk of Cornell University. Chemical ecology deals with the chemical interactions of organisms, interactions that are pervasive at all levels of biological organization, from microbes to humans, and operate in the most diverse biological contexts. Organisms find food and seek out mates on the basis of chemicals, repel their enemies with chemicals, and fend off disease through the use of chemicals. Characterizing the molecules involved, and understanding how they function in nature is fundamental to the understanding of life itself.
Thurs. Nov. 7

Public Health continued.

[1] The Lancet, Vol. 360 July 6, 2002. Assessment of a pilot antiretroviral drug therapy programme in Uganda: patients' response, survival, and drug resistance.
[2] The Lancet, Vol. 359 May 25, 2002. HIV prevention before HAART in sub-Saharan Africa.
[3] The Lancet, Vol. 360 July 6, 2002. Correspondence, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
[4] The mounting impact. pp. 44-61. Report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic 2002.

Thurs. Nov. 14

MODULE 3: Modeling in Science - The history and development of scientific models, when are models valid, the relationship between scientific models and material reality, how does one use computers to model science, the development of computer modeling, etc...

Philosophy, examples What is modeling? (seminar participants) What is modeling? (Max Black)
Examples (Giorgio Israel, Mathematica).

View the PowerPoint Presentation

[1] From "The Application of Mathematics to the Sciences of Nature", Cerrai et al, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002. The Two Faces of Mathematical Modeling: Objectivism vs. Subjectivism, Simplicity vs. Complexity, pp. 233-243.
[2] "Models and Metaphors: Studies in Language and Philosophy", Max Black, Cornell Univ. Press, 1962. Chapter XIII Models and Archetypes, pp. 219-233.

John Dougherty
Rob Manning
Thurs. Nov. 21

Modeling in Science continued.

Modeling complex systems in the natural sciences: Global Warming.

Guest Charles Miller
, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Haverford College, will discuss the uses of models for policy regarding climate.
View his PowerPoint presentation on Climate Change Modeling, where he discusses how Policy and Science have Complementary Roles in Mitigating Climate Change.

[1] Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report, Summary for Policymakers -- We suggest reading through the document, with particular attention to Q3: Models of Climate Change, as well as the graphs considering the eight scenarios.
[2] Climate Change Science(2001): An Analysis of Some Key Questions (NAS)
[3] Whitehouse Climate Change Policy (2001): pp. 21-26, "Advancing the Science of Climate Change"
[4] Government Outlines Plan for Research on Warming, New York Times, Nov. 13, 2002.

Read this article on the penalties of waiting too long for a conclusive answer in terms of climate modeling.

Thanksgiving Break
Thurs. Dec. 5

Modeling in Science continued.

Modeling complex systems in the social sciences.

Guests Suzanne Amador Kane (Associate Professor of Physics, Haverford College) and Amy Slaton Associate Professor, Department of History and Politics at Drexel University.

John Dougherty
Rob Manning
Sharpless Conference Room S306
(unless otherwise noted).

If articles and PowerPoint Presentations have a link just click to view.
(Click here for a printable version of this schedule.

Topic Leaders
Thurs. Jan. 30

MODULE 4: Science, Technology, and Education
This unit looks at science and technology education in the U.S. from a number of co-existing, and in some cases competing, perspectives. Readings are intended to provide a broad sense of the contemporary American landscape in Science and Technology education. They highlight different methodologies that scholars have used to understand what is happening with science and technology education, different diagnoses of what might (or might not) be wrong with American advanced education, and a range of remedies that diverse experts in the fields of science, technology, and the human and social sciences have proposed to make American science and technology education more inclusive and more successful.

Week 1: ***Science Education Controversies***
View Jerry Gollub's PowerPoint Presentation on Science Education Controversies.

Since Science Education opportunities are widely seen as essential stepping stones to competitive colleges, they are the source of much controversy. In recent years, the Advanced Placement Program has been at the center of this debate. The AP program is now dominating high schools, with many students mainly taking AP courses in their junior and senior years. Yet the program has severe weaknesses.

The National Academy of Sciences was recently asked to undertake a national study of the AP science program (and also the International Baccalaureate Program), and I (Jerry Gollub) had the interesting experience of chairing this study. I will use the study to address a number of issues of possible interest to seminar participants:

--The National Academy is the dominant source of supposedly unbiased advice for the government and the public on important policy questions involving science. How does it work, and what are its strengths and weaknesses?

--Why has participation in AP programs grown exponentially over the past decade, while minority participation has lagged considerably?

--How can complex questions about the quality of educational programs best be resolved? This particular study bases its analysis on a considerable body of research on the learning process, and it asks how that research can be used to improve educational programs. What will determine whether its recommendations are adopted? What does this type of analysis leave out?

--How are the colleges affected, and how do they affect this system of preparing students for college?

--Material on the National Academy and the National Research Council

--Excerpts from the study: Learning and Understanding: Improving Advanced Study of Mathematics and Science in US High Schools.

John Dougherty
Jerry Gollub
Maris Gillette
Anne Preston
Thurs. Feb. 6 Science, Technology, and Education, continued.
Week 2: Information Technology (IT) and Education

The past decade saw the largest peacetime expansion of the US economy, with the credit often given to the realized improvements in worker productivity from information technology (IT) [2]. The need for competent IT workers has been documented, but the use of IT itself in the educational process has been largely neglected [1]. The improvements in IT capabilities, reductions in costs, along with the modern principles of human learning, should provide the needed pieces for designing and implementing effective IT applications for education [3].

This module on IT and education will review the potential, as well as the "friction points", of the interdisciplinary efforts among the learning sciences, educational community, and industry. Time and technology permitting, a case study of SimCalc [4], a mathematical IT tool used in K-12 education to develop the foundation ideas found in calculus, will be presented. Issues will also include (but not be limited to) the following: IT as distraction; digital inclusion vs. digital divide; and professional development for IT fluent teachers.

Reading list:
[1] National Research Council. Improving learning with information technology. CFE, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2002, pp. 1 - 21, 26 - 27.

[2] President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, Panel of Educational Technology. Report to the President on the use of information technology to strengthen K-12 education in the United States. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1997. (3 pgs)

[3] Roschelle, J., Pea, R., Hoadley, C., Gordin, D., & Means, B. Changing how and what children learn in school with collaborative cognitive technologies. In M. Shields (Ed.), The Future of Children (Special issue on Children and Computer Technology, published by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA), Volume 10, Issue 2, 2001, pp. 76 - 79, 84 - 88, 90 - 92, & Box 6: SimCalc on p. 89.

[4] Roschelle, J., & Kaput, J.. SimCalc Math Worlds for the mathematics of change: Composable components for calculus learning. Communications of the ACM, 39 (8), pp. 97 - 99, 1996.

Thurs. Feb. 13 Science, Information, and Education, continued.
Weeks 3 and 4: Women and Science Education:
At each critical juncture in the education process, women leak out of the science educational pipeline at higher rates than men. What are the social, educational, cultural and discipline-specific forces that lead to this attrition? Do forces pushing girls and women out differ at different stages of education? Do they differ for different fields of science? The readings, authored by anthropologists, historians, scientists, and educators, will begin with a brief historical account of the exclusion of women from scientific education. They will proceed to examine and analyze relatively recent
experiences of women in middle school, high school, college, and graduate school.

Evelyn Fox Keller, "The Anomaly of a Woman in Physics," in Women, Science and Technology, edited by Mary Wyer, Mary Barbercheck, Donna Giesman, Hatice Orun Ozturk, and Marta Wayne, Routledge Publishers, 2001, pp. 9-16.

Excerpts from Educated in Romance: Women, Achievement, and College Culture, by Dorothy C. Holland and Margaret A. Eisenhart, The University of Chicago Press, 1990. pp. 64-67, 87-88.

Excerpts from Talking About Leaving by Elaine Seymour and Nancy M. Hewitt, Westview Press, 1997. pp. 24-28, 50-52, 231-243.

The Outer Circle edited by Harriet Zuckerman, Jonathan R. Cole and John T. Bruer, Norton 1991. Chapter 10, Evelyn Fox Keller, The Wo/Man Scientist: Issues of Sex and Gender in the Pursuit of Science. pp. 227-236.

The Equity Equation edited by Ana Sue Davis, Angela B. Ginovio, Carol S. Hollenshead, Barbara B. Lazarus, and Paula M. Rayman. Jossey-Bass, 1996. Chapter 3 Jane Butler Kahle, Opportunities and Obstacles: Science Education in the School. pp. 57-95.

Francine D. Blass, Marianne A. Ferber and Anne E. Winkler, The Economics of Women, Men and Work. 4th edition Prentice Hall, 2002. Chapter 5 pp. 138, Chapter 6 pp. 160-162

Margaret A. Eisenhart and Dorothy C. Holland, Gender Constructs and Career Commitment; The Influence of Peer Culture on Women in College. pp. 26-35.

Thurs. Feb. 20

Science, Technology, and Education, continued.
Women and Science Education.

Excerpts from Talking About Leaving by Elaine Seymour and Nancy M. Hewitt, Westview Press, 1997. Chapter 6 pp. 319-376.

Robert P. Moses and Charles E. Cobb, Jr., Radical Equations; Math Literacy and Civil Rights, Beacon Press 2001. Chapter 4 pp. 91-113.

Hubbard, Lea, College aspirations among low-income African American high school students: gendered strategies for success. Anthropology and Education Quarterly v. 30, no. 3, 1999. pp. 363-383.

Thurs. Feb. 27

MODULE 5: Alternative Perspectives on Science
Week 1. Where We Are and How We Got Here: The Kuhnian "Heresy"

1. James Robert Brown, Who Rules in Science [2001], ch. 3;

2. Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Second edition, enlarged [1970], I. Introduction: A Role for History; IX. The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions; XIII. Progress Through Revolutions. pp. 1-9, 92-110, and 160-173.

Maris Gillette
Martin Hebert
Paul Jefferson
Lyle Roelofs
Spring Break
Thurs. Mar. 20

Alternative Perspectives on Science continued.
Week 2. "Outsider" Perspectives on the Enterprise of Science

1. James Robert Brown, Who Rules in Science [2001], ch. 5.

2. Donna J. Haraway, "Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective," in Mario Biagioli, ed., The Science Studies Reader [1999], pp. 176-182 *only*.

3. Evelyn Fox Keller, "A World of Difference," in Reflections on Gender and Difference [1985], pp. 158-176.

4. Bruno Latour, "Give Me a Laboratory and I will Raise the World," in Mario Biagioli, ed., The Science Studies Reader [1999], pp. 265-275.

5. Charles Bazerman, "What Written Knowledge Does: Three Examples of Academic Discourse," in Shaping Written Knowledge [1988], pp. 21-39.

Thurs. Mar. 27

Alternative Perspectives on Science continued.
Week 3. Sokal's Hoax and the "Science Wars" Joined.

1. Steven Weinberg, "Sokal's Hoax," in Facing Up [2001], pp. 138-154;

2. Claudio Pellegrini et al., "Sokal's Hoax: An Exchange," New York Review of Books [October 3, 1996];

3. Alan Sokal, "Transgressing the Boundaries: An Afterword," Dissent, 43, no. 4 [Fall 1996]: pp. 93-99;

4. Joan H. Fujimura, "Parody as Social Control," in "Authorizing Knowledge in Science and Anthropology," American Anthropologist, 100 [1998]: 356-357;

Recommended, but Optional:

Alan Sokal, "Transgressing Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity," Social Text , 46-47 [1996]: 217-252;

James Robert Brown, Who Rules in Science [2001], chs. 1-2.

Thurs. Apr. 3

Alternative Perspectives on Science continued.
Week 4. What It's All About: The Limits of Skepticism.

1. James Robert Brown, Who Rules in Science [2001], chap. 6, pp. 115, 118-124, 128-135, and 141-143.

2. John Horgan, "Profile Reluctant Revolutionary [Interview of Thomas S. Kuhn]," Scientific American, May 1991: 48-49.

3. Gerald Holton and Stephen G. Brush, "On the Duality and Growth of Science" and "On the Discovery of Laws," in Physics, the Human Adventure [1998], chs. 13-14.

Thurs. Apr. 10 Group dialogue wrap-up session.
All participants.
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Science and Society Related Links

AGU Science and Society
American Association for the Advancement of Science

History of Science Society

Institute of Science in Society
New Views and Information About Science, Technology and Development and Ethics of Research.
Stanford University's Program in Science, Technology and Society

If you have any questions about this course contact Kim Minor by email or by phone (610) 896-2936. Kim is located in Sharpless S207B.

Last update February 25, 2003
This page is maintained by Kim Minor