Science and Society (PHIL 550)

2023 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


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 5

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 5

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 4

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 4

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 5

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 3

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 3

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 1

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 1

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 4

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 3

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 5

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 1

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 1

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 4

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 4

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 5

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 4

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 5

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 5

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making.

1. Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 4

2. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 4

3. Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the different approaches, concepts, and theoretical legacies in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies. 5

2. Identify interconnections of knowledge within and across the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, literature, visual studies, philosophy, and psychology. 4

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the multiple methodologies used in cultural analysis; in particular, ethnographic fieldwork, participant-observation, interviewing, oral history, focus group discussions, textual criticism, and visual analysis 3

4. Cultivate a critical approach to the study of culture, articulating the relations between culture, power, and history; exploring cultural diversity and socio-cultural change at the local, national and global level; and exploring the corresponding demands for rights and social justice. 5

5. Be able to conduct original research and develop sound analysis of phenomena in the realm of cultural production, consumption, and representation; develop and present advanced oral and written evaluations of one's research and arguments. 5


  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