Gender and Science
We have several goals for this course. We want you to
- Learn different ways of thinking about what science is, how it's
done, and the role it plays in our world.
- Learn about different schools of feminist thought.
- Critically apply different feminist analyses to the practice of
science and the knowledge produced by science.
- Have fun while working hard and challenging our ideas
about science and gender.
The majority of the reading we'll do for the course will come from the
following three books.
We will also be reading some primary scientific literature and some
additional articles which will be on reserve.
- Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
University of Chicago Press. 1996. (Any edition that has Kuhn's
1969 "Postscript" should be fine.)
- Muriel Lederman and Ingrid Bartsch, The Gender and Science
Reader. Routledge. 2001.
- Londa Schiebinger, Has Feminism Changed Science? Harvard
University Press, 1999.
Your evaluation will be loosely based on the following:
We will assign grades (for those who so opt) by following the
guidelines in the COA Course Catalog. We do not have any quota of A's,
B's, etc. We encourage students to opt out of a letter grade.
- Final project: 30 percent.
- Participation in class discussion and activities: 30 percent.
- Final paper on feminism and science: 20 percent
- Other written work: 20 percent.
Policies, Assignments, and Stuff: First Draft
- The final version of this and related documents can be found on
the course web page, http://hornacek.coa.edu/dave/Teaching/Gender+Science.
- There will frequently be reading assigned for class. Often, we
will have a specific set of questions for you to think about before
our class discussion. When this isn't the case, you should come to
class ready to share at least three questions or comments and the
- In addition to preparing for and participating in class
discussions, there will be several major assignments spaced throughout
the term. These are:
Details of these assignments will follow shortly.
- A paper in which you do a close, literary-style analysis of a
scientific article from a research journal.
- A group exercise in which you'll analyze different ways that the
notion of science is used in a variety of difference sources, such as
biology and physics textbooks, newspaper articles, publications by
government funding agencies, national research labs, and corporate
- A group exercise in which you analyze advertisements from current
and past issues of Physics Today, Biosciences, and similar journals.
- You will be responsible for leading a
discussion on a topic of your choosing.
- A final paper in which you revisit questions of science, gender,
and their interrelations.
- We will probably need to schedule an extra class or two during
weeks 9 or 10 so we have enough time for the presentations.
- As we plan on occasionally sending out homework assignments and
other information via email, it is important that you check your
- For some classes there's a fairly large amount of reading. We
strongly encourage you to plan ahead and pace yourself, so you don't
end up doing all the reading the night before the class.
- The particular topics and sets of readings we cover toward the end
of the course is flexible and will depend on student interest and
- We expect you to attend class.
- Academic misconduct -- cheating, plagiarizing, etc. -- is bad. Any
cases of academic misconduct will result in a judicial hearing, as
per pp. 14-15 of the COA handbook. Possible consequences range
from failure of the assignment to expulsion. For more, see the revised statement on academic
integrity passed by the faculty last winter.
[ Dave ]
[ Gender and Science ]
[ COA ]
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