Gender and Science: Summary

At the beginning of the term, we laid out the following goals for the course:

  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.

Some questions we have for you:

  1. What was the most useful thing we read or did in the class? Why?
  2. What would you tell other students about this class?
  3. Would you encourage science students to take this class? Why?
  4. Do your science classes look different to you after having taken this class?

Some themes in the course:

Some assertions to consider and debate in the years ahead.

  1. Every research project is a political act.
  2. At issue is not the biases or lack of objectivity of individual scientists. No group of single individuals can change institutional culture and the structural problems that are attendant with that culture. Changing individual scientists' values is nowhere near sufficient for changing the oppressive expressions of science.
  3. The issue is not that individual scientists have agendas, and that they thus should seek to be more objective. Rather, the central issue is that the structure and narrative content science serves to mask these unconscious assumptions of researchers, making them invisible and thus almost impossible to address. Power is most effective when it is invisible. Science is a form of often invisible power and authority.

[ Dave ] [ Gender and Science ] [ COA ]

Web page maintained by