Chapter 17: Sociology of Science
Chapter 17: Sociology of Science SOC 100
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Date Created: 12/01/15
Chapter 17 Lecture Notes What is science 0 Science vs supernatural 0 Science vs faith 0 Science vs myth 0 Richard Dawkins Holy Books isn39t revised even if they39re proven to be wrong Characteristics of science 0 Dawkins Theory Objectivity gt scientist is neutral Scienti c inquiry evidence based gt conclusions based on evidence not preconceived ideas Scienti c inquiry is open gt ideas which tested and quotfalsi edquot are rejected and more accurate ones replace them The structure of scienti c revolutions Thomas Kuhn 0 Normal science work within existing paradigms Extending knowledge of those facts the paradigm displays as particularly revealingincreases match of facts and further the articulation of paradigm O Continues until there39s a lot of anomalies that are strong enough to cause a paradigm shift or revolution 0 A new quotnormalquot science paradigm is established and the process begins again Inductive method 0 Collection and analysis of data 0 Construction of a theory or hypothesis 0 Hypothesis is tested and conclusions are drawn lf repeatable reliable it is a social fact Deductive method and Karl Popper O Popper rejects idea there39s permanent social laws governing human behavior and that any law could be falsi ed no matter how many times its been proven correct 0 Theories and hypotheses could come from anywhere eureka moments O Aim of science should be to constantly strive to falsify theories Testing should be rigorous and scienti c Importance of context 0 No science and society it39s science in society 0 Context in uences meaning assigned to something How we treat data points and interpret results 0 The Matthew affect quotto him who has more will be forgivenquot bible researches who are famous get recognized more than those who aren39t More likely to get a grant Social construction of science 0 Context determines what we study and how we study it 0 Science wars Facts oreexist in objective reality and are just waiting to be discovered by researchers OR facts aren39t quotjust therequot waiting to be found facts are socially constructed interpreted and agreed upon Science monkeys and corn sex 0 2 develops in 19005 Hybrid corn Con that grows tall and strong Higher yield in 15t year I Trouble reproducing 2nd year gt new seeds Fritz Haber discovers HaberBosch Process to x N2 Lead to monoculture farming Industrial farming takes off American farm policy 0 19205 and 19305 gt price of corn crashes FDR39s New Deal includes option for farmers to borrow money until prices go back up I lncentivizes farmers to not ood market 1973 the Farm Bill gt abolishes loan program and replaces it with direct payment to farmers based on quottarget pricequot Over production of corn today Textbook pg 657668 Goal of science is to learn new things about the world Paradigm framework within which scientists operate Normal science science conducted within an existing paradigm gt Kuhn Paradigm shift scienti c revolution when enough scienti c anomalies accrue to challenge the existing paradigm showing that it is incomplete or inadequate to explain all observed phenomena Normative view of science the notion that science should be unaffected by the personal beliefs or values of scientists but rather follow objective rules of evidence Boundary work work done to maintain the border between legitimate disciplines Scienti c laboratory primary site in which many scienti c data are collected researched and analyzed Matthew effect used by sociologists to describe the notion that certain scienti c results get more notoriety and in uence based on the existing prestige of the researchers involved Textbook pg 671678 People assume organic is healthier for the environment consumers and animals 0 More expensive 0 Farms must go through a process to be certi ed to sell organic goods Genetically Modi ed Organisms are products whose genetic structures have been altered O Lowers food cost 0 Better resistance to disease 0 May be a risk to consumers and environment Risk society society that both produces and is concerned with mitigating risks especially manufactured risks ones that result from human activity Green revolution refers broadly to 2 agricultural trends 0 High yield crop varieties in developing countries 0 Improvements in agricultural technologies quotRight Patients for the Drugquot Lakoff Those with more money and names helping those fund research help make a medication more available or just present due to more research Drug trails are very long and expensive leading the public to believe drugs should be trusted If a politician or celebrity endorses a medication brand the public is more likely to buy it Over medicalization doctors and patients prescribe and take medication they may not even need quotRepublic of Fatquot Pollan When corn demand was low some corn farmers made alcohol out of the corn they grew 0 Later on farmers use it to sweeten things high fructose corn syrup People eat about 30 more than they should now Corn cheap energy So does soybeans