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230182 SE Visiting the laboratories of the social and natural sciences (2010W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie
Continuous assessment of course work

Kick-off meeting: Fr 08.10.2010, 10:00
There will also be 2 excursions (schedule to be listed)


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 08.10. 10:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum Physik Sensengasse 8 EG
Friday 22.10. 09:00 - 13:30 Seminarraum Physik Sensengasse 8 EG
Friday 29.10. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum Physik Sensengasse 8 EG
Friday 19.11. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum Physik Sensengasse 8 EG
Friday 26.11. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum Physik Sensengasse 8 EG
Friday 03.12. 09:00 - 12:00 Seminarraum Physik Sensengasse 8 EG
Friday 17.12. 09:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum Physik Sensengasse 8 EG


Aims, contents and method of the course

Scientific news about recently discovered genetic diseases or alarming demographic facts rarely inform about the specific circumstances of producing these results. Science and Technology Studies have a long tradition of exploring the specific production processes of scientific knowledge that often is presented as detached from the socio, cultural or economic contexts. STS-scholars have studied scientists like anthropologists who followed the representatives of "exotic" cultures into their every day lives and visited laboratories in order to study the material cultures and local embeddedness of scientific practices. By pointing out the specific conditions of the manufacturing of scientific "facts" they challenged the authority of science and its claim for objectivity.
In this seminar we will visit researchers from both the social and natural sciences in their working environment and thus have the opportunity to observe and discuss how scientific knowledge is shaped by practices, by locations and by technologies - and last but not least by the humans who are making use of them, who interact with each other, share some premises on their work and decide which kinds of research questions are considered as worthwhile to pursue.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The seminar aims at establishing a sensitivity towards shared elements of scientific work as well as different knowledge production processes and styles in scientific research in order to enable the development of personal research interests and research questions within the master studies courses Science-Technology-Society. Beyond this, it is open to all students interested in knowledge production processes.

Examination topics

Central to this seminar are excursions to research institutions. We will explore "research-in-the-making" by visiting and meeting researchers in their working environment and get insights into the conditions and requirements of knowledge production: What do scientists do? How do they do it? How do their results find its public(s)? What is an interesting approach from an STS perspective? With the help of selected literature and their autobiographical background participants will have to prepare each excursion and to reflect their experiences. Students are encouraged to experiment with the documentation and presentation of their observations.
Furthermore, this seminar offers a glance at the heterogeneity of contemporary research cultures, respective methodological and discursive practices. We will explore differences and similarities of the observed fields and maybe even defy the conventions of the traditional divide into natural sciences on one hand and social sciences and humanities on the other hand.

Reading list

Association in the course directory

Diplomstudium Geschichte: FW

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:39