READ: Stevenson and Byerly, Many Faces of Science, chap. 11-12, pp. 219-266; Ede and Cormack, History of Science in Society, chap. 12-13, pp. 349-396.
WRITE a reaction paper at least 4 pages (double spaced, regular margins, at least 1,000 words; please feel free to write more – this can help your grade ) in length about these chapters. Some questions you may wish to consider include the following. Please note that you do not need to answer every question, but you should respond to both books.
For Many Faces of Science:
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The textbook provides two views of whether science undercuts traditional values. What are these? Does either view convince you? What do you think about these issues?
Do you agree with Vico and Plato that science is not able to give ultimate answers?
Is science value neutral? How do you respond to the textbook’s discussion of this issue?
What do you think about the rational choice model and cost-benefit calculations? How do these work in our lives? Have you heard of other applications of these ideas?
When you started this class, did you believe that science is objective? Have you changed your view after reading this textbook? (Note that I didn’t say that science is not objective, only that it is not as simple as we might at first think. One of my goals for this course is to stimulate your thinking about issues such as this one.)
What do you think about the textbook’s assertion that the process of scientific research cannot be free of value considerations?
For History of Science in Society:
Why has it been so difficult for many women to work in science?
What were early computing machines like?
What theoretical ideas about computing did Turing and von Neumann contribute?
Why was the solid state transistor important?
Why was the birth control pill different from earlier methods of contraception? How was science involved in its working and development?
How did Gell-Mann and Zweig organize the many different subatomic particles?
What was the impact of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson? What did it argue?
What was the Human Genome Project?
What are some of the controversies about the Iceland Health Sector Database?
What do you think science is?
What is the authors’ point about cold fusion?
Should there be secrecy in science? Why or why not?
What is nanotechnology?
What are some of the issues involved with gene testing and genetic therapies?