First Year Seminars

SCSO 0070E - The Anthropology of Gender and Science (ANTH0077N)

This seminar examines topics including genetics, reproduction, and evolution, all through the lens of gender/sex systems. The themes of social justice, identity, and difference are central to the course. We will explore: How epidemiology and engendered social justice are often in conflict in the fight against AIDS in Africa; to learn about difference, anthropomorphism, gender, and primatologists’ comparisons between humans, bonobos, and chimpanzees; efforts to scare men in the United States about "Low Testosterone," and how they reflect shifting identities as much as reduced hormone levels; and the relationship between gender, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Western Biomedicine in China. SOPH DPLL

SCSO 0280  - Transforming Society-Technology and Choices for the Future (ENG 0020)

This course will address the impact that technology has on society, the central role of technology on many political issues, and the need for all educated individuals to understand basic technology and reach an informed opinion on a particular topic of national or international interest. The course will begin with a brief history of technology.

SCSO 0511 - Biology of Hearing (NEUR 0650)

Examines the sensory and perceptual system for hearing: the external, middle, and inner ears; the active processes of the cochlea; sound transduction and neural coding; neural information processing by the auditory system; and the nature of auditory perception and its biological substrate. Prerequisite: an introductory course in Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Physics, Engineering or Psychology.

Advanced Lectures

SCSO 1000 - Introduction to Science and Society:  Theories and Controversies

What is "science"? How do scientific ideas become knowledge? What is the nature of scientific objectivity, how can it be compromised? What is a scientific community, scientific consensus, and scientific authority? What roles does science play in our culture, and how is science related to other social institutions and practices? The interdisciplinary field of science studies is introduced through exploration of topics that include: gender and race, psychiatric classification, the drug industry, science and religion, and the use of nuclear weapons during World War II. Enrollment limited to 30 sophomores, juniors, seniors; others may enroll with permission of instructor. WRIT

SCSO 1270 - Zoopoetics (ENG 1900J)

This course will explore the intersections between the depictions of plants and animals in twentieth and twenty-first century poetry and the theoretical conversations about non-human worlds unfolding in emerging fields, such as animal studies and the environmental humanities. Readings will range from poetic texts by Francis Ponge and Marianne Moore to theoretical texts by figures such as Donna Haraway. There will be periodic mandatory film screenings.

SCSO 1390 - Science at the Crossroads (HIST 1825M)

This course will look closely at the dramatic developments that fundamentally challenged Western Science between 1859 and the advent of the Second World War in the 1930s. Its primary focus will be on a variety of texts written in an effort to understand and interpret the meanings of fundamentally new ideas including from the biological side--evolutionary theory, genetic theory, and eugenics; from the physical side relativity theory, and quantum mechanics. The class should be equally accessible to students whose primary interests lie in the sciences and those who are working in the humanities. WRIT

SCSO 1524 - Aristotle (PHIL 1250)

A close study of Aristotle's major works: his metaphysics, philosophy of nature, philosophy of mind, and ethics. Readings are from original sources (in translation) and contemporary secondary material. (Students wishing to read the texts in the original Greek should make arrangements with the instructor.) WRIT

Advanced Seminars: Topics in Science and Society

SCSO 1700F - Health Inequality in Historical Perspective (BIOL 1920B)

Seminar takes a historical perspective to explore causes of health inequality in the US. Draws on studies from the 19th century-present. Examines socio–political and economic context of health/disease, focusing on how race, class, and gender shape the experience of health, disease causality, and public health responses. Includes health consequences of immigration, incarceration, race-based medicine, the Chicago heatwave, and Katrina. BIOL 0200 and work in Africana Studies and/or science-technology courses SUGGESTED. Not for biology concentration credit. Suitable as related science or theme course for HHB. Enrollment restricted to 20, third- AND FOURTH-year students.

SCSO 1700P - Neuroethics

In this course, we will examine ethical, social, and philosophical issues raised by developments in the neurosciences. Topics will include: neurodevelopment and the emergence of persons; the impact of child abuse on brain development; aging, brain disease, and mental decline; life extension research; strategies and technologies for enhancement of human traits; "mind-reading" technologies; agency, autonomy, and excuse from responsibility; error and bias in memory; mind control; neuroscientific and evolutionary models of religious belief and moral judgement. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructor permission required.

SCSO 2700A – The Politics of Knowledge (HIST 2981F)

The seminar offers an introduction to fundamental theoretical texts and exemplary works in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. Readings will be drawn from a range of time periods and geographical areas, and students will be asked to deploy the theoretical insights of our readings in working with sources in their own fields for a final research paper. Topics include: the gendered dimensions of knowledge, the moral economy of science, claims to expertise, and the stakes of "objectivity."