Gender and Science

Spring 2002

Course Overview

Instructors: Dave Feldman Suzanne Morse
Office: Second Floor, Turrets Annex Third Floor, Turrets Annex
Phone: x249, 276-5284 x308, 288-3581
Office Hours: TBA, and by appointment. Th 1:00 - 3:00 in TAB, by appointment
Mailing List:

Course Overview

We have several goals for this course. We want you to

  1. Learn different ways of thinking about what science is, how it's done, and the role it plays in our world.
  2. Learn about different schools of feminist thought.
  3. Critically apply different feminist analyses to the practice of science and the knowledge produced by science.
  4. Have fun while working hard and challenging our ideas about science and gender.

Textual Materials: 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.


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.

Policies, Assignments, and Stuff: First Draft

  1. The final version of this and related documents can be found on the course web page,
  2. 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 reading.
  3. In addition to preparing for and participating in class discussions, there will be several major assignments spaced throughout the term. These are:
    1. A paper in which you do a close, literary-style analysis of a scientific article from a research journal.
    2. 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 research institutions.
    3. A group exercise in which you analyze advertisements from current and past issues of Physics Today, Biosciences, and similar journals.
    4. You will be responsible for leading a discussion on a topic of your choosing.
    5. A final paper in which you revisit questions of science, gender, and their interrelations.
    Details of these assignments will follow shortly.
  4. We will probably need to schedule an extra class or two during weeks 9 or 10 so we have enough time for the presentations.
  5. As we plan on occasionally sending out homework assignments and other information via email, it is important that you check your email semi-regularly.
  6. 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.
  7. The particular topics and sets of readings we cover toward the end of the course is flexible and will depend on student interest and feedback.
  8. We expect you to attend class.
  9. 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 ]

Web page maintained by