Science and Technology Studies (STS) for Development in a Global Context
Full course description
This course will introduce students to different cutting-edge concepts and theoretical approaches in the field of Science and Technology (STS) studies. This enables students to study the intricate interplay of science, technology and society for development in the Global South and North and the way they are connected. Students learn to critically apply an STS perspective when exploring agendas such as what counts as ‘good’ knowledge for development; who is considered an expert regarding issues of science and technology for development and why; and who ultimately decides about uncertain and ambiguous technologies. Students will also reflect on the methodological consequences of choosing an STS approach for studying development agendas. In addition they will conduct an interview. Using STS concepts, students will analyze a controversy around a particular technology that is currently negotiated in the field of development in a global context. Fields of science and technology covered in class include nanotechnology, hydroelectric power, agriculture (biotechnology such as genetically modified crops, non-pesticide management) , health care (ultrasound in Ghana, clinical trials in the Global South, health care models on Ebola and avian influenza, water purification and sanitation), environment (water sanitation), crafts (handloom in India) and ICTs (internet and mobile phones).
After completion of this course, students are able to:
- Understand and explain different relations between science, technology and society for development
- Position contemporary debates on science and technology in and for development in the framing, production, and dissemination of scientific knowledge and technologies between
- Explicate the influences of the wider social and cultural context in which scientific knowledge and technology are produced
- Understand and explain the differences between Technological determinism, Social determinism, and STS-approaches (including the Social Construction of Technology and Actor Network Theory)
- Using a case that integrates the Global South, apply, in the final paper, STS perspectives and concepts as an analytical lens to 1) a scientific or technological controversy, 2) travelling technology or 3) the role of (scientific) knowledge/expertise/technology in specific (historical) events or daily lives.
- Conduct an interview and reflect and report on this.
The courses: - GDS4000 and - GDS4002