This course connects to the final qualifications K2, K3, K4, K5, K6, S1, S2, S4, S6 and S9 of the programme, according to the following eight learning objectives:|
At the end of the course the student has knowledge of or insight in:
1. the main theoretical approaches and concepts developed in the Social Studies of Technology and Society.
At the end of the course the student is able to:
2. identify specific developments and problems in science and technology from the different theoretical
perspectives presented in the course, in order to compare and contrast these different approaches
and to discuss their advantages and disadvantages for (theoretical, practical) analysis
3. interpret and use theoretical approaches and concepts to understand the dynamics of scientific and
4. review theoretical and empirical texts
5. present theoretical and empirical articles as well as own research work to an informed public (of fellow
students and teachers)
6. conduct a critical discussion.
At the end of the course the student has experience in:
7. close reading of advanced social scientific literature
8. setting up, conducting and reporting the outcomes of a limited social science STS research analysis.
The course aims to develop the following complementary skills:
- Analytic reading (identifying the central thesis of a text and reconstructing the lines of argument and/or evidence provided in support)
- Interpretative reading (situating text in its historical, cultural and rhetorical context; understanding the meaning of key terms and claims)
- Critical reading (evaluating the validity of claims and lines of argument)
- Formulating relevant questions about text to deepen understanding and enable evaluation of its claims
- Reading and (basic) understanding of technoscientific publications
- Summarizing texts
- Comparing and contrasting texts
- Composing an outline for an analytical assignment
- Orally presenting a position or analysis in a clear and structured way for academic, lay and professional audiences
Subjects, theories and models
This course aims to introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. Students will be introduced to the main theoretical approaches in the field, including Social Construction of Technology, Actor Network Theory, Strong Program, feminist, co-design and evolutionary approaches. In addition, students gain practical experience using STS theories and concepts when performing empirical analyses of the latest developments in science, technology and society.
Attendance is obligatory.
During a series of interactive lectorials the theories are discussed and applied to concrete case studies. Students are actively involved in each class (through student presentations and group exercises) and are stimulated to discuss relevant theories critically.
The assessment is based on several individual assignments on theories (25%) and group assignments around a design object freely chosen by each working group, resulting a final group assignment (50%), composed of a mix of PSTS and IDE students (together 75% of the mark), and contribution presentations (25% of the mark). Note: For each component of the final grade the minimum sufficient grade is 5.5. If assignment evaluation results in insufficient, a revision needs to be submitted. Assignments graded with complete/incomplete need all to be complete to pass the course.