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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF FACTS & ARTIFACTS

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SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF FACTS & ARTIFACTS BY DAVID J. HESS David J. Hess Anthropologist Faculty development grant from ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF FACTS & ARTIFACTS


1
SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD
THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF FACTS ARTIFACTS
BY DAVID J. HESS
2
David J. Hess
  • Anthropologist
  • Faculty development grant from Rensselear
    Polytechnic Institute
  • STS interdisciplinary study of science,
    technology and society

3
Combinations, Contrasts, and Complexities
  • Generalist
  • Wide in scope
  • Cross-cutting
  • Dynamic and flexible

Culture
Power
Politics
Society
4
What is Knowledge?
  • finding patterns in observations and then
    organizing the observations into explanations..

negotiated
Knowledge is a socially shaped process
constructed
re-constructed
5
Ways of knowing .
  • Philosophical and Historical Debate

Are there similarities in the way the human mind
organizes the world?
Is there an inherently structured world?
or
6
Things to think about
  • Do different cultures have different sciences and
    technologies or is science and technology
    socially neutral and above and beyond culture?
  • In what ways is scientific knowledge socially
    constructed and in what ways is it not? How can
    this concept be made both useful and meaningful?
  • Can you think of ways that the absence of
    historically excluded groups (e.g., women,
    underrepresented ethnic groups, the poor) shape
    the content of scientific knowledge?
  • Is there discrimination in science? If so, what
    should be done about it?
  • In what ways can society influence the course of
    scientific research?

7
Definitions and Concepts
  • Science
  • knowledge about the natural
  • world
  • Technology
  • knowledge about how to create
  • effects via artifacts
  • Social Constructivism made up of decisions,
    observations, generalizations, theories and
    methodology
  • Cultural Relativism interpreting the meaning of
    science technology relative to the
    understanding of local communities
  • Techno totemism identification of social
    groups with natural phenomena or cultural objects

8
What does X mean to Y?
  • What is the social significance of
  • Science and/or Technology to
  • Class Race
  • Gender Nationality
  • Context possibilities for alternate theories

9
International Science?
E I N S T E I N
Pasteur

Galileo
Aristotle
Newton
Copernicus
Mendel
Watson and Crick
DARWIN
10
Temporal Cultures
  • Epistemes assumptions about knowledge, method
    and theory that in any given time period are
    shared across disciplines (Foucault, 1986)
  • Paradigms scientific frameworks that can
    undergo dramatic shifts (Kuhn, 1970)

11
Scientific Revolution vs Scientific Evolution
  • 1600-1800s
  • Modern science is it historically
    ethnocentric?
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Capitalism
  • Colonialism
  • Counter-culturalism

12
How does science gain authority to direct truth
practices?
  • Actor-network theory
  • Institutional influence
  • Public controversy
  • Religion
  • User Acceptance

13
The Scientific and Technical Communities
  • Intercultural communication
  • Concepts of self
  • Body language
  • Conversation style
  • Hierarchy/Equality relationships

14
Non-Western Knowledge Systems
  • New World vs Old World societies
  • Indigenous people
  • Boomerang effect/Pluralism and convergence
  • Accupuncture
  • Ayurvedic
  • Reiki
  • Shamanism
  • Tai-chi
  • Yoga

15
The good, the bad and the ugly
  • Extraction Settlement-Domination
  • Knowledge and Power
  • Grassroots resistance and development

16
Earned Doctorates for U.S. Citizens in the
Physical Sciences
17
Multicultural Education
  • Recruitment and
  • Retention of
  • the underrepresented
  • Curriculum reform

Diversification of knowledge, design and practice
18
New Frontiers
  • How are new technologies affecting fundamental
    cultural categories such as life, death, and
    kinship? (i.e. stem cell research, human genome
    project)
  • Does the Internet promise to increase or
    decrease social inequalities, and how might
    changes in the technology reduce or exacerbate
    this effect?
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