Science and Society (PHIL 550)

2021 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Gürol Irzık,
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Doctoral, Master
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This course aims to study the two-way interaction between science and society. It aims to understand how science and science-driven technology change society and in turn how social factors influence them. Topics covered will include: the changing nature of scientific research, the challenges to formulating science policy in democratic societies, the comercialization of scientific research, how scientific controversies on matters of interest to the public are played out, and normative questions that these issues raise.


  • Understand the difference and the relationship between science and technology
  • Have a crtical understanding of the role of science in society and the social forces that influence scientific research
  • Offer well-constructed arguments for one?s views
  • Be able to imagine alternative social regimes of science


  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Term-Paper 15
Written Report 15
Presentation 30



I. An Overview of Science and Technology in the last 150 years

1-2 March J. McClellan and H. Dorn, Science and Technology in World History, 2nd. ed. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999, pp. 339-435.

II. Technological Determinism and the Politics of Artefacts

8-9 March M. R. Smith and L. Marx, ?Introduction?, in Does Technology Drive History? (eds.) M. R. Smith and L. Marx. MIT Press, 1994, pp. ix-xiv.

R. Pool, Beyond Engineering, Oxford University Press, 1997, pp. 17-31.

L. Winner, ?Do Artefacts Have Politics?? Daedalus, 109 (1): 121-136, 1980.

T. Pinch and W. Bijker, ?The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts?, in The Social Construction of Technological Systems (eds. W. Bijker, T. Hughes and T. Pinch), MIT Press, 1989, pp. 107-139

III. Changing Social Regime of Science and Norms of Science

15-16 March R. Merton, ?The Normative Structure of Science? in The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973, pp. 267?78.

D. Resnik, The Price of Truth, Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 35-51.

G. Irzık, ?Commercialization of Science in a Neoliberal World?, in Reading Polanyi for the 21st Century: Market Economy as a Political Project (Eds.) A. Buğra and K. Ağartan, Palgrave, 2007, pp. 135-153.

H. Etzkowitz, The Triple Helix: University-Industry-Government, Innovation in Action, Routledge, 2008, pp. 1-42.

IV. Science-Industry Relationships and Intellectual Property

22-23 March M. Boldrin and D. K. Levine, Against Intellectual Property, Cambridge University Press, 2008, pp. 1-22.

S. Sismondo. ?Pharmaceutical Company Funding and Its Consequences: A Qualitative Systematic Review.? Contemporary Clinical Trials 29: 109?13, 2008.

B. Holman and K. C. Elliott, ?The promise and perils of industry?funded science?, Philosophy Compass, 13 (2018): e12544

29 March Paper topic discussion

V. Science in Democracy, Democracy in Science

30 March M. Polanyi, ?The Republic of Science?, Minerva 1: 54-74, 1962

5-6 April P. Kitcher, Science, Truth, and Democracy, Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 117-135.

12-13 April M. Bucchi and F. Neresini. ?Science and Public Participation?, in The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, (Eds.) E. J. Hackett, O. Amsterdamska, M. Lynch, and J. Wajcman, 3rd ed.., 449?72. Cambridge, MIT Press, 2008.

VI. Science and Epistemic Justice

19-20 April F. Kurtulmus and G. Irzik. ?Justice in the Distribution of Knowledge.? Episteme 14, 129?46, 2017.

F. Kurtulmuş, ?Epistemic Basic Structure?, Journal of Applied Philosophy 37, 818-838, 2020

26-27 April G. Irzik and F. Kurtulmus, ?Distributive epistemic justice in science?. Forthcoming in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

3 May G. Irzik and F. Kurtulmus, ?Distributive epistemic justice in science?, continued.

4 May Presentations

10-11 May Official holiday

17-18 May Presentations

24-25 May Presentations