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Course Co-ordinated by IIT Guwahati
Dr. Sambit Mallick
IIT Guwahati


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The objective of the course is to enable students to understand science as a socio-cultural product in specific socio-historical contexts. The course exposes students to philosophical, historical and sociological perspectives to look at science as a practice deeply embedded in culture and society. It emphasizes the dynamic nature of the relations between wider cultural practices on one hand and scientific practices on the other. The attempt is to equip students with an understanding indispensable for an in-depth study of science-technology-society dynamics.




Introduction: Perspectives on the relations between science, technology and society: hierarchical, symbiotic and coalescing


Demarcation, autonomy and cognitive authority of science and challenges - I


Demarcation, autonomy and cognitive authority of science and challenges - II


Demarcation, autonomy and cognitive authority of science and challenges - III


Demarcation, autonomy and cognitive authority of science and challenges - IV


Science as a social institution and the ethos of science


Inequalities in science


Technological shaping of society


Social shaping of technology


Information society - I


Information society - II


Science policies in India


1. B. Barnes and D. Edge (eds.), Science in Context: Readings in the Sociology of Science, The Open University Press, 1983.
2. G. Basalla, The Evolution of Technology, Cambridge University Press, 1988.
3. C.A. Alvares, Homo Faber: Technology and Culture in India, China and the West, 1500 to the Present Day, Allied Publishers, 1979.
4. A.F. Chalmers, What is this Thing called Science?, The Open University Press, 1980.
5. R. MacLeod and D. Kumar (eds.), Technology and the Raj: Western Technology and Technical Transfers to India, Oxford University Press, 1995.
6. I. Hacking, The Social Construction of What?, Harvard University Press, 2001.
7. E.J. Hackett, O. Amsterdamska, M. Lynch and J. Wajcman (eds.), The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, The MIT Press, 2008.
8. J.R. Kloppenberg Jr., First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, 1492-2000, The Macmillan Press, 1988.
9. D. Lyon, Information Society: Issues and Illusions, Polity Press, 1988.
10. D. MacKenzie and J. Wajcman (eds.), The Social Shaping of Technology, The Open University Press, 1999.
11. H. Rose and S. Rose, The Political Economy of Science: Ideology of/in the Natural Sciences, The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1976.
12. W. Bijker, T.P Hughes and T. Pinch (eds.), The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, The MIT Press, 1989.



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