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Constructing Meaning: Social Studies of Scientific Knowledge and the History of Medicine II (Roberta Bivins)

So: we know what STS is/does. Now, can we use it, or is there something special about medicine (or its history), socially, culturally, or politically, that invalidates the approach, or renders the tools less flexible, or strips them of analytical traction?

In this session, we will ask:

1. What happens when social scientists and anthropologists look from the sciences to medicine?

2. Do the lenses that they bring to bear on the social practices and productions of scientific knowledge and spaces offer new insights when turned upon medical knowledge, expertise and culture?

3. What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, and how can we get the good bits whilst sidestepping the bad?

Seminar Readings

Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch, Dr. Golem: How to Think about Medicine (2005) [NOTE: read this book critically; its strengths and weaknesses are emblematic of the whole STS approach when applied to the history of medicine]

Charles Rosenberg, Introduction, in Rosenberg and Janet Golden, eds. Framing Disease; Studies in Cultural History (1992).

Further Readings for both sessions:

Bijker, Wiebe, Hughes, Thomas P., and Pinch, Trevor,The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology (1987) (Or if you prefer monographs, Bijker, Of bicycles, bakelites and bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change (1995)

Casper, Monica J. and Berg, Marc, ‘Introduction’, Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 20, No. 4, Special Issue: Constructivist Perspectives on Medical Work: Medical Practices and Science and Technology Studies (Autumn, 1995): 395-407.

Dear, Peter, ‘What is the History of Science the History of?’, Isis 96,3 (2005): 390-406).

Figlio, Karl, ‘The Historiography of Scientific Medicine: An Invitation to the Human Sciences’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 19, 3 (1977): 262-286

Gillies, D. “Hempelian and Kuhnian Approaches in the Philosophy of Medicine: the Semmelweis Case” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2005): 159-181.

Golinski, Jan, Making of Scientific Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science (1998).

Gusterson, Hugh, Becoming a Weapons Scientist. In George Marcus (ed.) Technoscientific Imaginaries: Conversations, Profiles, and Memoirs (1995), pp. 255-274.

Ibid., Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Lab at the end of the cold war (1996).

Haraway, Donna, Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science (1989).

Iibd., Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan ©Meets_OncoMouse: Feminism and Technoscience (1997).

Rapp, Rayna, Testing Women, Testing Fetuses: TheSocial Impact of Amniocentesis in America.

Roll-Hansen, Nils, Empirical Studies or Philosophy? (Reply to Barnes and Collins), Social Studies of Science, 15, 1 (1985): 178-180.

Shapin, Steven, ‘Here and Everywhere: Sociology of Scientific Knowledge’, Annual Review of Sociology, 21 (1995): 289-321. (very, very good overview article; strongly recommanded)

Leigh Star, Susan, ‘Epilogue: Work and Practice in Social Studies of Science, Medicine, and Technology’, Science, Technology, & Human Values, Vol. 20, No. 4, Special Issue: Constructivist Perspectives on Medical Work: Medical Practices and Science and Technology Studies (Autumn, 1995), pp. 501-507

Warner, John Harley “The History of Science and the Sciences of Medicine” Osiris, 2nd Series, Vol. 10, Constructing Knowledge in the History of Science (1995), pp. 164-193

Winner, Langdon, ‘Social Constructivism: Opening the Black Box and Finding It Empty,’ Science as Culture, 3, 3, 16, pp. 427-452.

Langdon Winner, ‘How Technology Reweaves the Fabric of Society’, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 39, 48, (1993): B1-B3.

Winner, Langdon, ‘The Gloves Come off: Shattered Alliances in Science and Technology Studies’, Social Text, No. 46/47, Science Wars (Spring - Summer, 1996), pp. 81-91.