SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY

a 3rd year course in Sociology

It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of science and technology in enabling and shaping the ways we live, work, play and think. Science and technology have been associated with social progress, resolving social problems through raising living standards and providing “technical fix” solutions.

At the same time, our ever-increasing reliance on science and technology has also been seen as the source of new problems, such as lifestyles that are hurried, consumption-oriented and environmentally unsustainable.

However, a straightforward conceptualization of science/technology as separate from society and as “having an impact” on society is problematic. The world of people and the world of things are intermeshed and evolve together.

"Science, Technology & Society" looks at how that intermeshing happens in practice: through the work that generates new facts and technologies. This occurs in the decision-making processes by government institutions (especially about environmental hazards) and in the biomedicalization of bodies and identities.

The module also examines familiar ways of talking about science and technology for how they create (and limit) possibilities for investment, participation and debate.