SOSC 1130: Science

Technology and Business
Tuesdays and Thursdays
4:30 pm – 5:50 pm
Lecture Theater A
Dr. Naubahar Sharif
SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01


Introductory Class

Details about the class



Additional details and regulations

Details about me

What about you?
SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01


About Me

My name
Education: Ph.D. Cornell 2005 (Science
and Technology Studies)
Research: How science and technology
(S&T) influences society and vice versa
(mutual relationship)

Societal and cultural embeddedness of
science and technology

Want to know more?
SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01


SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 4 . discussions.Lecture Notes    The lecture notes on slides presented at the lectures will also be available from the SOSC113 Course Web (Canvas) I will try to post an updated version before the lecture. so that you can print the notes before class You should supplement by taking notes from my explanations. etc.

respectively PRS Exercises count for 15% of course grade SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 5 . partly based on case studies PRS Exercises during class The midterm counts for 40% and the final exam 45% of the total course grade.Assessment and Grades  There will be two exams in the course:       1 midterm (around Week 7 during class time) 1 final exam (end of semester) Both exams will consist of multiple choice questions.

PRS Exercises   How many of you have never used a PRS device? I will not entertain ANY excuses for non-performance of PRS exercises SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 6 .

you should address me! Engage in class discussions SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 7 .Some Basic Rules     Get to class ON TIME ! All mobile phones or pagers turned to SILENT Please do not disturb the class with irrelevant conversation—if you want to discuss an issue.

I am Serious…!!!   I do not take attendance (you are all adults) I would like you to pay attention and learn something   Not only learn about what you can get from textbooks But also learn something that will actually make a positive difference in your lives  University life is like finding “a needle in a haystack”  I will try to offer more such “needles” SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 8 .

so I hope you too will respect me and my time It is your job to have fully functioning PRS devices and ensure your answers are registered by the system SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 9 .I am very serious…!!!     Talking is strictly prohibited I will endeavor to start (and finish on time) I respect the value of your time.

Seeking Help   I am here to help Contact me should you require assistance   Email is best: The class will be run with the assistance of my TAs  Mostly invisible. but critical to any successful class SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 10 .

What About You?     Your enrollment status? Why are you taking this class? How many of you have previously taken any class with me? How many of you have previously taken ANY SOSC class?   How many currently taking SOSC1110? How many of you don't speak/understand Cantonese? SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 11 .

More About You?  Which year are you in?      0. 3. 1. 2. 4 or above What's your major/home school? How many live on campus/off campus? Do you intend to come to class? Do you have any siblings in university (now or before)? SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 12 .

Class Composition     Exchange Students? Mainland Students? HK students from international schools HK students from EMI/CMI schools SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 13 .

one third (33%) of questions I receive are answered on the syllabus SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 14 .Homework  Read and digest the syllabus!  Over the course of a semester.

What is ‘Science and Technology Studies’ (S&TS) SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 15 .

of these activities (something that is done by people) Closely studies how the activities are actually performed through accumulating knowledge by actors SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 16 . assumptions.What is ‘Science and Technology Studies’ (S&TS) Newly emerging field   Challenges orthodoxy ( 正統 ) of science. technology and now business    Why do we believe what scientists say? Questions rationales.

Falsificationism   How STB produced? What shape does STB take.What is ‘Science and Technology Studies’ (S&TS) Two important philosophical  approaches within the study of SCIENCE: 1. Logical positivism and 2. and why does it take that shape? SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 17 .

or How S&TS Originated (p.14)  Idea of Logical Positivism ( 實證主 義 ) (Vienna Circle):  Scientific progress is increasing number and range of potential observations that its theories indicate   What has been done E.g.The Prehistory of S&TS. perform the same experiment again and again in different environment to prove the theory is always true SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 18 .

in a logically structured language Theories can be no more or no less than the logical representation of data SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 19 .The Prehistory of S&TS (cont’d)   A scientific theory is in some sense a mere summary of possible observations.

Falsificationism  Idea of Falsificationism ( 歪曲 ) (Karl Popper)   A form of positivism The idea that using purely logical means we can make predictions of observations from scientific theories     Scientific theories lead to predictions Make prediction about the future Best theories are the ones that make all the right predictions Scientists are held to a standard  According to this standard. they have to discard theories in the face of opposing data and retain those theories which provide correct results SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 20 .

Realism  Idea of Realism ( 現實主義 )  Idea that science progresses towards the truth. and accumulates truth as it goes forward    Science tells us about the natural world Most scientific theories are approximately true Good methods form the basis of scientific progress SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 21 .

Realism Idea: Positivism Falsificatio Realism n Supporte Summaries d of by: observations Predictions of Truth observations Feature: Make all the right predictions and based on empirical data The rational construction of theories on top of empirical data SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 Believe that science will progress towards truth 22 .Positivism vs. Falsification vs.

scientists work according to certain norms (values) SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 23 .A ‘Functionalist’ View  Merton’s functionalist view of science    Merton argues that science served a social function: providing certified knowledge Science serves a social function. providing certified knowledge that we can all believe and trust In order to produce this knowledge.

Universalism. Disinterestedness ( 無私 ). Organized Skepticism ( 懷疑論 ) (CUDOS) Scientists adhering to these norms perform greater social function (of providing certified knowledge) than scientists that do not adhere to them SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 24 .   These norms govern scientists behavior and attitudes Norms: Communalism.

race. Scientific knowledge is owned by everyone Universalism  Anyone can make a scientific claim and that claim is not evaluated based on particularistic criteria (such as sex. gender.) SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 25 . etc.e.Norms (cont’d)  Communalism  Idea of communal ownership   i.

Norms (cont’d)  Disinterestedness ( 無私 )   Scientists are not interested in science because of financial gain (because they want to become rich) Organized Skepticism ( 懷疑論 ) (CUDOS)  Scientists remain skeptical ( 持懷疑態度 的 ) until the theory is well established SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 26 .

and Business are thoroughly social activities  Each of these activities is conducted by HUMANS SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 27 ...What’s the Main Point? or Summary  Science does not determine the shape of technology  Technology is not just applied science   Not all technology depends on science alone Sci. Tech.

interests.   Actors who perform the activities are members of communities. beliefs. idiosyncrasies. trained into the communities and working within them Communities set standards for inquiry Actors are not mere logical operators: they have biases. preferences. SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 28 . etc. prejudices.

Course Outline I SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 29 .

Course Outline II SOSC 1130 Fall 2016 Notes 01 30 .