Comparative Studies 367.02
Science, and Technology in American Culture: Shaping Our
- Class Meetings: Monday and Wednesday, 1:30 P.M. –
3:18 P.M., University Hall, Room 0056
Scheiderer E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail Box: 308 Dulles Hall
- Office Hours: Tuesday
goal of this course is to read about, think about, talk about, and finally,
write about how science and technology operate within and as American culture.
In order to do this, we will look at science and technology in ways that
scientists and other citizens usually don’t.
We will listen to how the
scientific establishment itself describes science, and then we will look to see
if such is actually realized, realizable, or even desirable in practice. We will
analyze the language of science in order to discover how it imagines the
universe, and examine the rhetoric of science to see how it constructs its
truths. Since we as a people are immersed in and dependent upon science and
technology which we often have little understanding of, we will also pay
attention to how non-scientists talk about these, including politicians,
journalists, artists, and other popularizers as they try to bridge the gap
between makers and users of science. We will see how scientific facts are made
and un-made, how distinctions between “good” and “bad” science are drawn, and
how the boundaries of science are established, policed, and harried. We will
question the modern mythic beliefs of objectivity, progress, and truth, and
explore how the hopes and fears of individuals and of society as a whole are
shaped by science and technology, and vice versa.
We will conduct these
interrogations mainly within the context of topical issues surrounding the
shaping of our bodies, including diet, exercise, and nutritional
supplementation. We will discuss the reckoning and creation of value (artistic,
athletic, economic, ethical, intellectual, religious, social) involved in these
and ask if there are different—maybe even better—ways for us as individuals,
institutions, or a nation to practice science and develop or use technology,
e.g., more effectively, more responsibly, or more
This is first and foremost a writing
course, and you will be required to write three essays, two outside of class,
and one in class as a final exam, along with some short identifications.
Specific guidelines for the essays and a study guide for the final will be
available on the web site. Before you can effectively make your own arguments,
you will have to first learn to recognize and analyze the arguments of others.
You must therefore do the reading assignments and attend class in order to
discuss them. I have tried to be reasonable in the amount of reading I ask you
to do in order that you can read it all and read it well, i.e., engage it, think
about it, form opinions. Review questions on each reading will be available on
the web site in order to help you identify the main points, and we will go over
these during class discussion.
Oral expression skills is the second major
component and goal of this course. Your participation grade will be based on
your contribution to class and small group discussions, as well as your
involvement in the online class discussion forum. I will take attendance every
class, and more than two unexcused absences will affect your grade negatively,
one third of a grade per missed class, e.g., from a B+ to a B. In my attendance
ledger I will also make note of significant participation from individuals for
each class. I also reserve the right to levy pop quizzes if I feel the class has
been neglecting the reading, and these would figure into your participation
grade as well.
essay and IDs 25%
The composite grade for each essay
will be at least the average of the grade for the first graded version and the
grades for any subsequent revisions. Printed essays are to be turned in to me at
the beginning of class. Any late work will be penalized one letter grade per day
(including the due date). Put late essays in my hands or in my mailbox at 308
Dulles (office closes at 5PM)—do not e-mail
- Participation 15%
Plagiarism, i.e., presenting someone
else’s writing or ideas as your own, is the ultimate academic sin. I will refer
all suspected cases to the Committee on Academic Misconduct. Please don’t put
either of us in this situation. Remember, when in doubt, go ahead and credit the
It is my assigned duty to help you learn the
methods and mechanics of good writing through instruction both in class and in
one-to-one meetings. I will happily look at drafts of your essays and I strongly
encourage revisions. The MLA style manual (see below) also contains much helpful
information on organizing and presenting your thoughts in writing. The OSU
Writing Center offers invaluable writing skills tutoring, including grammar
advice, all for free. The Center is located at 485 Mendenhall Labs and can be
contacted at 688-4291. It’s web site is located at http://www.cohums.ohio-state.edu/cstw/htm.
(available at Student Book Exchange (SBX), at 14th & High Street,
Atkins, Robert C. Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution: The
Amazing No-Hunger Weight-Loss Plan That Has
Millions Lose Weight and Keep It Off. New York: Avon, 1999.
Jane. Dieting for Dummies. Indianapolis: IDG, 1998.
Cynthia, and Scott Swartzwelder and Wilkie Wilson. Pumped: Straight Facts for
Supplements, and Training. New York: Norton, 2000.
MANUAL (available at SBX; style manual for
this course, as well many other courses)
- National Academy of Sciences. On Being A Scientist. 2nd ed. Washington: National Academy
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th ed. New York: MLA,
PACKET AND RESERVES
A collection of several smaller readings
is available at Grade A Notes. A bright pink information sheet about this course
packet will be distributed in class. A copy will be available at the reserve
counter of the main
reserve the right to change this at any time, so come to class and check the web
site regularly. The online syllabus is superior to the one handed out on the
first day of class. Readings are to be read and questions answered by class time
on the dates
Being A Scientist: 1-21. (SBX)
Norman. “Presumed Neutrality of Technology.” Controlling Technology:
Contemporary Issues. New York: Prometheus, 1991. 249-264. (course
Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford
Entries = "Nature," and "Science." (course
George. “What is Science?”. 1945. Science and Technology Today. ed. Nancy
MacKenzie. New York: St. Martin’s, 1995. 12–15. (course
Lewis. “The Hazards of Science.” Science and Technology Today. ed.
New York: St. Martin’s, 1995. 149-154. (course
ESSAY TOPICS DISTRIBUTED
Stephen Jay. "Three: Measuring Heads." The Mismeasure of Man. 1981. Rev.
New York: Norton, 1996. 105141. (course
Thomas S. “The Route to Normal Science,” The Structure of Scientific
3rd ed. U. of Chicago P: Chicago, 1996.
10-22. (course packet)
Iron. Dir. George Butler and Robert Fiore. 1976. Videocassette. Rhino,
Bruno. “Introduction: Opening Pandora’s Black Box.” Science In Action.
UP, 1987. 1-17. (course packet)
Bruno. “Chapter 1: Literature.” Science In Action. Intro, Sections A
& B (not C), 21-44; Conclusion, 60-62. (course
for Dummies. Introduction, Chapters 1, 4, 6.
OF FIRST ESSAY
for Dummies. Chapters 9, 10,
Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. All three prefaces, Chapter 1: xi-xviii,
ESSAY TOPICS DISTRIBUTED
Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. Chapters 2-6, pp.
Iron II: The Women. George Butler. 1985. Videocassette. Central Park Media,
Arnold and Bill Dobbins. “The Abdomen,” and “Weight Control: Gaining Muscle,
Losing Fat.” The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1998. 533-62, 731-47. (course
Chapters 1–4: 13-65. (SBX)
Pumped. Chapter 5: 66-101.
SECOND ESSAY DUE
FINAL EXAM STUDY
Evaluation of Instructor. Course Summation and Review
FINAL REVISIONS DUE BY 4:00 PM IN
MAILBOX AT 308
you want your graded essays back, please include