Science and the State|
Spring 2012 not offered
SISP 336, AMST 347|
Over the past two centuries, states have been among the most prodigious producers and consumers of scientific information. Broad areas of scientific inquiry such as demography, economics, geography, and ecology substantially developed in response to the need of states to manage their populations, their economies, and their natural resources. State-directed scientific and technological innovation has also played a critical role in the pursuit of national security and infrastructural development, most notably through the development of nuclear weapons, missiles, and an array of military technologies. Finally, states have turned to scientific experts to enhance the credibility and legitimacy of policy decisions. This course introduces students to literature in the history of science that explores the connections between systems of knowledge and state power. Themes developed include the tensions among expertise and democracy, secrecy, and scientific openness; the relationship between political culture and scientific and technological development; and the role of quantification, standardization, and classification in producing political order.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Yaron Ezrahi, THE DESCENT OF ICARUS: SCIENCE AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRACY (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990)
Deitrich Reuschemeyer and Theda Skocpol, STATES, SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE, AND THE ORIGINS OF MODERN SOCIAL POLICIES (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996)
Jennifer Light, FROM WARFARE TO WELFARE: DEFENSE INTELLECTUALS AND URBAN PROBLEMS IN COLD WAR AMERICA (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).
Kelly Moore, DISRUPTING SCIENCE: SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, AMERICAN SCIENTISTS, AND THE POLITICS OF THE MILITARY, 1945-1975 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).
|Examination and Assignments: |
In addition to participating in class discussions, students will produce an original research paper in consultation with the instructor.