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Autumn Quarter 2021

COM 540: Rhetoric of Science (5 credits)
Leah Ceccarelli

Tuesdays and Thursdays
12:30 pm - 2:20 pm, CMU 242

This graduate seminar will examine the interdisciplinary field of scholarship known as the "rhetoric of science." We will study the rhetorical structure of arguments made by scientists to their peers, the rhetorical strategies used by scientists when they communicate outside their fields of expertise, and the persuasive moves made by publics engaging technoscientific issues. Questions for discussion will include: How do scientists use language, situation, culture, and prior tradition to reach intersubjective agreement about their discoveries and theories? In what ways are the argumentative standards applied by scientists in their fields of expertise similar to those applied by arguers in public or private settings? How do scientists communicate with the public? What does public discourse about science reveal about our attitudes toward science? What happens when there is a crisis involving science or technology in the public sphere and scientific expertise is unable to resolve doubt and warrant deliberative action? We will read a number of critical works in the field, to see how rhetorical scholars have added to our collective knowledge about the communicative practices of scientists. We will discuss some of the larger theoretical and practical issues that arise from the rhetorical interpretation of science. And over the course of the quarter, each student will write a paper that engages in the rhetorical criticism of a piece of communication about science. No background in rhetoric or science is necessary to take this course. This seminar can be used by STSS graduate certificate students who are not in the Department of Communication to fulfill the broad perspectives course requirement. For more information, contact the professor at

STSS 591: Science, Technology, and Society Studies in Action (2 credits)
David Ribes

1:30 pm - 3:20 pm, MEB 102

Provides an advanced introduction to science, technology, and society studies. Includes topics of active research interest in history and philosophy of science; social studies of science; science and technology policy; and ethics and equity issues.

ESS 408/508: Great Geological Issues (3 credits)
Jody Bourgeois

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
9:30 am - 10:20 am, plus an extra reading and discussion session (1 hr.) for graduate students TBA

This course reviews the history and development of geological and paleontological theories and controversies, and the philosophy and methodology that have driven scientific inquiry in the earth sciences. Text: Great Geological Controversies 2nd ed., with supplementary other chapters of secondary reading. Weekly reading and discussion of original texts, primarily 19th century. Some focus on history of climate-change studies leading to present issues. At the graduate (508) level, extra reading and discussion session (to be arranged) and a term research paper, the latter in lieu of the final exam.

PHIL 482: Philosophy of Physics (5 credits)
Benjamin H. Feintzeig

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays
8:30 am - 9:50 am

Topic TBD.

Winter Quarter 2022

COM 539 Theories of Technology and Society (5 credits)
Adirenne Russell

Time TBA

Provides an theoretical foundation for study in the area of communication technology and society by examining different contemporary theories of the social, political, and cultural implications of technological change. Takes a broad view of theories of communication innovations, tools, and technologies - including historical, critical, and comparative approaches.

HPS 400: Colloquium in the History and Philosophy of Science (5 credits)
Benjamin H. Feintzeig and Bruce Hevly

Mondays and Wednesdays
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Topic TBD.

Spring Quarter 2022

PHIL 560: Philosophy of Science (5 credits)
Carole Lee

Time TBA

Course description forthcoming.


History and Philosophy of Science - Major (UW Seattle)

Science, Technology and Society - Major (UW Bothell)

Comparative History of Ideas - Major (UW Seattle)