|Taught by Michael A. Dennis at Cornell University, Spring 2000
This is a course about US science and politics during the second half
of the twentieth century. As such, it is a course about the world we currently
inhabit and read about in the newspapers, watch on television, and see
on the web. Beginning with the mobilization of American science during
World War II and the Cold War, and continuing through the increasing commercialization
of technical knowledge, we will examine the various interactions among
government, science and the law. Some of the issues we will address include:
the militarization of American science; the relation of science and government
regulation; the science and politics of the environment; changing notions
of privacy with respect to information and bio-technology; and the politics
of genetic knowledge.
Required Books: Available at the Campus store or bigwords.com:
Don Delillo, White Noise
Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science
Sheila Jasanoff, The Fifth Branch (FB)
Sheila Jasanoff, Science at the Bar (SB)
Stuart W. Leslie, The Cold War and American Science
Additional materials are available in a reader from Gnomon Copy [273-3333]
or on reserve in Uris. Many underlined terms refer to links on our class
web page at: http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/sts391/
Requirements: In addition to regular class attendance, there will be
a take-home midterm, a research paper [10-15 pages] due on the last day
of class, and a take-home final exam.
American Science in World War II
Greenberg, Chapters 3-6.
Does Vannevar Bush Really Matter?
Greenberg, Chapter 7-8; Bush Report.
Images of the Scientist
R. Merton, Normative Structure of Science, in Merton, R. K. (1973 ). The
Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations. Chicago,
University of Chicago Press. Pages 267-278; Polanyi, M. (1962). "The Republic
of Science: Its Political and Economic Theory." Minerva 1(Autumn):
The Struggle over Atomic Energy
Smith, A. K. (1965). A Peril and a Hope: The Scientists' Movement in
America, 1945-47. Cambridge, MIT Press. Pages 128-173.
The Militarization of American Science?
Leslie, Chapters 1-4.
Oppenheimer and the Problems of Secrecy
the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer"
Weinberg, A. (1961). "Impact of Large-Scale Science on the United States."
134: 161-64; Greenberg, Chapters 9-11.
The Space Race
Leslie, Chapters 5-8; Mitroff, I. I. (1974). "Norms and Counter-Norms in
a Select Group of Apollo Moon Scientists: A Case Study of the Ambivalence
of Scientists." American Sociological Review 39 : 579-595.
My Government went to the
Moon and all I got were rocks!
Smith, M. L. (1983). Selling the moon: The U.S. Manned Space Program and
the triumph of commodity scientism. The Culture of consumption: critical
essays in American history, 1880-1980. R. W. Fox and T. J. J. Lears.
New York, Pantheon: 175-236.
v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals
Jasanoff, SB, Chapters 1-4.
Expertise in/and Congress
Jasanoff, FB, Chapters 1-3.
Patenting Life? Diamond
Jasanoff, SB, Chapter 7. On owning one's own DNA, see the following article
Intellectual Property: Owning
Universities and Industry
Djerassi, C. (1993). "Basic Research: The Gray Zone." Science 261(20
August 1993): 972-973; Krimsky, S., L. S. Rothenberg, et al. (1996). "Financial
Interests of Authors in Scientific Journals: A Pilot Study of 14 Publications."
and Engineering Ethics 2(4): 395-410.
The Politics of Technology
Noble, D. F. (1978). "Social Choice in Machine Design: The Case of Automatically
Controlled Machine Tools, and a Challenge for Labor." Politics and Society
8: 313-347; Winner, L. (1986). The Whale and the Reactor. Chicago,
University of Chicago Press. 138-154.
Is it Working?
MacKenzie, D. (1990 ). Inventing Accuracy: A Historical Sociology of
Nuclear Missile Guidance. Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press. Pages 340-381;
Hersch, S. M. (26 Sept 1994). Missile Wars. The New Yorker: 86-99.
Technological Failure: The Challenger Explosion
Report; Figert, A. E. and T. F. Gieryn (1990). "Ingredients
for a Theory of Science in Society: O-Rings, Ice Water, C-Clamp, Richard
Feynman, and the Press." Theories of Science in Society. S. Cozzens
and T. F. Gieryn. Bloomington, Indiana University Press: 67-97.
Jasanoff, FB, Chapters 4-5.
Jasanoff, FB, Chapters 6-7.
Systemic Problems: HIV
Wachter, R. M. (1992). "AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Health." The
New England Journal of Medicine 326(2): 128-133; Epstein, S. (1996).
science: AIDS, activism, and the politics of knowledge. Berkeley, University
of California Press. Pages 235-264.
New Reproductive Technologies
Mead, R. (1999). "Eggs for Sale." The New Yorker: 58-65; Talbot,
M. (11 July 1999). "The Little White Bombshell." The New York Times
Magazine: 38-43, 48, 61-3.
The Human Genome Project and the Issue of Genetic Engineering
Gottweis, H. (1997). "Genetic Engineering, Discourses of Deficiency, and
the New Politics of Population." Changing life : genomes, ecologies,
bodies, commodities. P. J. Taylor, S. Halfon and P. Edwards. Minneapolis,
University of Minnesota Press: 56-84; Fortun, M. (1998). "The Human Genome
Project and the Acceleration of Biotechnology." Private Science: Biotechnology
and the Rise of the Molecular Sciences. A. Thackray. Philadelphia,
University of Pennsylvania Press: 182-201; Stolberg, S. G. (1999). "The
Biotech Death of Jesse Gelsinger." The New York Times Magazine:
Information Highways? A Role for Government?
Auletta, K. (16 August 1999). "Hard Core." The New Yorker: 42-69;
of Facts in Microsoft Suit.
Privacy: On-line and Inside
Diffie, W. and S. Landau (1998). Privacy on the Line: The Politics of
Wiretapping and Encryption. Cambridge, The MIT Press. Pages 125-150;
Davies, S. (1997). "Re-Engineering the Right to Privacy: How Privacy had
been Transformed from a Right to a Commodity." Technology and Privacy:
The New Landscape. P. E. Agre and M. Rotenberg. Cambridge, MIT Press:
Science and Democracy
Jasanoff, S. (1996). "Is Science Socially Constructed--And Can It Still
Inform Public Policy." Science and Engineering Ethics 2: 263-276;
Ezrahi, Y. (1994). "Technology and the Illusion of the Escape from Politics."
Pessimism, and Postmodernism. Y. Ezrahi, E. Mendelsohn and H. P. Segal.
Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press: 29-37. .
Science and its Publics
Delillo, White Noise.
Research Papers Due.
Final Exam Due