Graduate Seminars: Democratizing Science
The Science Studies Network will sponsor three interdisciplinary micro-seminars in conjunction with the 2008-2009 Science Studies Network Colloquium on Democratizing Science, a year-long faculty and graduate student working group that will meet every second week through the academic year. Each quarter the SSNet Colloquium and linked micro-seminar will focus on a different set of issues captured by this broad organizing theme:
Fall quarter: “Science in Democracy”
- How can the power of scientific inquiry be effectively mobilized for the public good without ceding authority to scientific experts?
- What uses have publics of various kinds made of scientific expertise and authority?
- How have public interests—regulation, funding, demands for accountability—structured scientific practice, in the range of democratic contexts in which it has taken shape?
- In what ways are scientists be accountable to those affected by their practice and authority, and by the results of their inquiry?
Winter quarter: “Democracy and Diversity in Science”
- In what ways does science at its best—well functioning science—exemplify democratic ideals of deliberation, the open exchange of ideas, critical engagement?
- Can ideals of objectivity, research integrity, credibility be articulated in terms of procedural requirements for ensuring that hypotheses, methods, conclusions are subject to critical scrutiny?
- How have the sciences been transformed, and enriched, by diversity among its practitioners, and in the forms and contexts of its practice?
Spring quarter: “Normative Claims for a Democratic Science”
- How can the resources of diverse communities, within and outside the conventional boundaries of scientific disciplines, be effectively engaged in the practice of science?
- Can “best practices” be identified that embody ideals of reciprocity, accountability, research partnership in scientific practice?
- What is the “epistemic payoff” of collaborative practice; how is the science enriched, transformed?
Each quarter a core working group of 5 faculty and 1 graduate fellow will convene the seminar, selecting readings and working papers, and identifying concrete examples that will serve as the basis for bi-weekly discussion.
Graduate students who have active research interests in any one or all of these topic areas can enroll in the HUM596 micro-seminars linked to each quarter’s SSNet Colloquium. These will be 2 credit, C/NC seminars, open to limited number graduate students from across the UW campuses. Requirements are as follows:
- graduate students in HUM596 will be expected to attend all the bi-weekly Science Studies Network meetings in the quarter in which they are enrolled;
- two additional meetings will be scheduled with core faculty at the beginning and end of the quarter;
- writing requirements will include a series of short response papers to selected readings and a summary reflection on the seminar as a whole.
Instructors (to be joined by SSNet Seminar Faculty Fellows):