Midterm Exam Review (2010-2011)

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Published on 16 Oct 2011
School
York University
Department
Natural Science
Course
NATS 1760
Professor
NATS 1760A Midterm Exam Notes
Exam is out of 100 Points
A. Basics (Complete 5 of 7 questions) - 20 Points (4 Points for Each Question)
Knowledge and Understanding Theoretical Readings
Week 2: The social dimensions of science and technology
Kleinman Science is Political/Technology is Social
There are controversial incidences involving science and technology
By invoking our personal insecurity and feelings, we start to forget the basic of society
norms
As citizens, we often forget our own limits. Therefore, we forget how to draw
information from real experts.
Kleinman introduces scientism (inherent divide between facts and values) and
technological progressivism (inhibits the ability of citizens to view science and especially
technology as reasonable subjects for wide-range public debate) as the two factors
making difficult for us to think critically about science and technology.
Kleinman argues that technology is embedded in societal values and technoscience is
political.
Fuller Introduction
Differences between knowledge and power
Fuller Kuhn and Popper: A Case of Mistaken Identities
Political questions and technical questions are confusing society for each other.
Idea that involves valued conflicts are used to settle political disputes
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The ideal sense of solving societal issues is to have different opinions of experts from
different fields of study. However, some issues require a combined force of experts to
solve such issues
Experts from different communities draw boundaries that give these experts a sense of
"specialization" in a particular section of their expertise.
There are many aspects of science and technology that is controversial in many ways
When boundaries are not clear, opinions of experts and non-experts are mixed together.
We can debate in discussions, but action is required for decisions.
Fuller introduces paradigm (exemplary piece of research and blueprint for future research)
Argues that scientists are testing scientific theories for any validity (Kuhns Structure
[blueprints] and Poppers Positivism [accountability])
Week 3: Trust, honesty, and the authority of Science
Shapin Trust, Honesty, and the Authority of Science
Theories are usually proven or disproven through scientific or conventional data
collection. Data can be interpreted in many different ways at any event and at any time.
Alternative theories, can be developed if the original theory is proved and disproved at
the same time. Theories have some annoying functions that may frustrate scientists.
Most of our facts come from scientists. But how accurate or truthful are these facts?
Having ethical experts with moral authority can combat one-sided scientific decisions.
Fuller Do we believe by evidence or by decision? A short history of epistemology
There will always be observations that will not match to what was originally
hypothesized; in contrast to prophecy, which predicts a future event in a vague way.
Fuller argues that the problem of knowledge led to scientists testing scientific theories
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It is because of the underlying skepticism behind these scientists searching for a
foolproof method. It is also known as a deliberative character of human thought
traditionally marked by hesitation prior to response and flexibility of consequences.
Week 5: Experts & Publics 1: on knowing what you are talking about
Collins & Evans Why Expertise?
Hearing many different views of certain topics is a form of democratic debate
Truth cannot be delivered at the speed of politics. We can no longer balance science and
technology against general opinion
Image of democracy: maximizing our diversity and equal participation
Democratic nations go to war less than non-democratic nations and democracy has less
political corruption than non-democracy
Collins & Evans are suggesting a different image of democracy
Collins & Evans argue that Folk Wisdom is a myth. Believes that expertise will help
resolve the problem of extension and legitimacy.
Evans & Plows Listening without Prejudice?
Public participation in technological decision-making is open to debate.
Political question: political commitment and figuring out what we are going to do.
Adopting an approach to permit a more inclusive treatment of the technical while
providing a positive role for non-expert citizens in the democratic society
Evans & Plows argue that the problem lies within practical issues of organizing
participation of public members in scientific discussions (phases of disputes)
It is important not to overlook subject-specific knowledge as lay common sense
Citizens should exercise judgment based on evidence according to selected criteria
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Document Summary

Exam is out of 100 points: basics (complete 5 of 7 questions) - 20 points (4 points for each question) Week 2: the social dimensions of science and technology. There are controversial incidences involving science and technology. By invoking our personal insecurity and feelings, we start to forget the basic of society norms. As citizens, we often forget our own limits. Therefore, we forget how to draw information from real experts. Kleinman argues that technology is embedded in societal values and technoscience is political. Fuller kuhn and popper: a case of mistaken identities. Political questions and technical questions are confusing society for each other. Idea that involves valued conflicts are used to settle political disputes. The ideal sense of solving societal issues is to have different opinions of experts from different fields of study. However, some issues require a combined force of experts to solve such issues. Experts from different communities draw boundaries that give these experts a sense of.