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SAN9: Science and environment

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This paper was formerly known as SAN9: Science and society.  The Course Co-ordinator is Dr Matei Candea, mc288@cam.ac.uk.

This option aims to provide a critical overview of anthropological concepts and approaches to contemporary debates in the social study of science, medicine and society. The course will examine anthropology’s claim to a distinctive voice within the broad ‘science studies’ chorus, a claim which rests in part on anthropology’s own complex historical relationship to science. Is anthropology a part of the (itself multiple and disputed) euroamerican scientific project, a radical contestant of science, or – somehow – both?

The course will explore a range of topics at the intersection of science and society. A core set of lectures will explore studies of scientists at work across a range of social and regional settings, and across diverse traditions of thought. This provides a general framing by putting into relief the way that notions such as ‘reliability’, ‘evidence’ and ‘verification’ are described as particular social forms and moral action claims. Another strand, focusing on Medical Anthropology, will suggest some of the key assumptions of scientific biomedicine and how they differ from other modes of understanding illness and effecting remedy. A focus on different ways of knowing and engaging the environment and climate will shed light on another way of thinking through intersections between science and society. Finally, a set of lectures cutting across a number of these themes, will ask how one particular theme – youth – is constructed as an object of science, medicine and technology.

Taken together, through these different strands, the course tracks the points at which multiple scientific knowledges intersect, clash or interface with other modes of encountering and affecting reality.

 

Paper Resources

 

SAN9 Paper Guide

For lecture reading lists, additional teaching materials, past exam questions and exam reports please see the SAN9 Moodle Course.

Please note teaching staff and students enrolled on SAN8 will automatically be enrolled on the SAN8 Moodle course and you will find a link to the course in the ‘My Home’ section of Moodle.

If you are a member of the University of Cambridge and you wish to view the reading lists, past exam questions and exam reports then you can access the SAN8 Moodle Course as a guest. For more information on how to access Moodle Courses as a guest please see Moodle Help.