Science and Feminism

I led Science and Feminism in Summer 2019 in a six-week intensive session at the Department of Technology, Culture, and Society at NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

You can find the reading list here.

Course Description

At first glance, “science” and “feminism” do not seem to go together. “Science” connotes objectivity and a lack of politics, while “feminism” describes a way of understanding the world that is based on a particular perspective and often seen as political. Yet recent research on the cultures of science have revealed that gender has often been a hidden variable in scientific research, that women and feminists have played important roles in the greatest discoveries of modern science, and that science and feminism can be used side by side to mutually beneficial aims.

This course offers an introduction to STS scholarship on the role of gender, women, and feminism in the sciences of the past, present, and future. We will learn about the role of women in science through readings and multimedia features by and about women engineers and scientists; how gender has been studied in science over time; and how feminism can improve the practice of science. We will also read key feminist texts that can help us understand the role of gender in science and the relationships between science and gender, race, class, and nationality. Readings and class discussions will be supplemented by guest lectures from scientific and feminist practitioners and field trips to relevant places in New York City. Students will be assessed via a research paper developed throughout the course.