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Science and Technology in Society

160 pages
This thoughtful and engaging text challenges the widely held notion of science as somehow outside of society, and the idea that technology proceeds automatically down a singular and inevitable path. Through specific case studies involving contemporary debates, this book shows that science and technology are fundamentally part of society and are shaped by it.

  • Draws on concepts from political sociology, organizational analysis, and contemporary social theory.
  • Avoids dense theoretical debate.
  • Includes case studies and concluding chapter summaries for students and scholars.
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Acknowledgments Abbreviations
Science is Political/ Technology is Social: Concerns, Concepts, and Questions
Why is Thinking about Science and Technology So Hard?
Technoscience is Social
Technoscience is Political
Ceding Debate: Biotechnology and Agriculture Biotechnology and the Social Organization of Agriculture and Agribusiness The Discursive Landscape in the Debate over Biotechnology Conclusions
Rethinking Information Technology: Caught in the World Wide Web Understanding the Digital Divide High-Technology Education Politics, Civic Action, and the Internet Conclusions
Owning Technoscience: Understanding the New Intellectual Property Battles
Intellectual Property, Social Common Sense, and the Knowledge Commons
ix xi
1 3 5 10
16 27 32
34 35 38 44 47
Intellectual Property and the Information Technology Revolution Owning Life: Intellectual Property in Biological Materials Intellectual Property and Innovation Conclusions
Technoscience in the Third World: The Politics of Indigenous Resources Science, Technology, and Colonialism From Colonialism to Biocolonialism Towards Equity in the Exchange of Biological Resources Conclusions
Gender and the Ideology of Merit: Women, Men, Science, and Engineering “Merit” and Stratification in Science Women, Men, and Academic Science Women and Men in Science-Based Industry Beyond Stratification in Science and Engineering: Artifacts and Research as Gendered Conclusions
7 Democracy and Expertise: Citizenship in a HighTech Age The Limits to Expert Knowledge The Virtues of Lay Knowledge Barriers to Democratizing Technoscience and Expertise Strategies for Overcoming the Obstacles Conclusions
Confronting the Problem: A Summary and Coda
References Index
53 58 65 67
69 70 75 79 82
84 85 87 95
98 100
102 103 108 113 118 121
128 139