From designer babies to genetic surveillance, and from the “culture” of tech workplaces to the politics of climate change, feminist science studies writers are at the forefront of research on some of the most pressing issues in science and technology today. Together they force us to consider whether new technologies—such as those in medicine and computing—will deliver on their promise to make the world a safer, happier, and more prosperous place for everyone, or will instead reinforce the systemic social exclusion of particular social groups.
This course will delve into some of the apparent dilemmas that modern communities face through engagement with key works from more than thirty years of feminist science studies research, including critical feminist theory, history, science and technology studies (STS), and anthropology. We will reflect upon historical research on the “gendering” of scientific knowledge from Evelyn Fox Keller; debate the relationship between gender roles and the science of reproduction with work from Emily Martin; consider how technical expertise regiments our experience based on gender, race, ability, and socioeconomic categories with Susan Leigh Star; and imagine how we might practice science differently – even better – through readings by Karen Barad and Donna Haraway. Participants will emerge from this class with new insights as to what the history, philosophy, and application of science and technology can teach us about constructing a more vibrant future for human society.