Special section of PHIL 469 Next Year [All Students]

Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to join this course. STS graduate student especially encouraged; a 5xx number can probably be assigned if enough graduate students are interested.

Philosophy 469: Topics in Philosophy of Science
Second Term, 2013-2014
Alan Richardson
Wednesdays 1-4 pm
Topic: Community-Based Research in STS/HPS

NB: This course is a pilot version also of ASTU 360: Community-Based Research and Knowledge Creation

There are times when Science and Technology Studies/History and Philosophy of Science scholars fancy that their disciplines would be useful in helping to resolve actually occurring problems in, for example, the relevance of scientific knowledge production or technological innovation to community concerns, productive citizen engagement with science, or public discourse regarding science and technology.  Meanwhile, there has arisen a field of “community-based research” (CBR) that seeks to bring researchers together with communities to work with those communities to enunciate a joint research project and the appropriate methods for prosecuting that project.  This course is an attempt to explore both of these issues at once: we will partner with a local community (or communities) to try to enunciate joint research projects that can be fruitfully approached using methods from STS/HPS.  Our ambition is limited in the following sense: by the end of the thirteen weeks of the course we are not going to have carried out the joint research project, but rather will have simply articulated what the project is.  If we are very excited actually to do it, we might at the end put together a grant proposal to do it.

Along the way we shall think carefully about the methods of STS/HPS research and will read discussions of CBR methods and case studies.   We will not only seek to bring STS/HPS methods into the purview of CBR but will reflect on the implicit or explicit social epistemologies or sociologies of knowledge in the CBR literature.

Our community group(s) will be chosen in consultation with UBC’s Community Learning Initiative.  In addition to the class times, we will meet on occasion with community groups at other times; a somewhat flexible schedule will help your participation.  Some background in STS/HPS, a willingness to engage with communities beyond the university gates, and a willingness to undertake joint projects are all presumed.

Every effort will be made to bring to the class STS/HPS and CBR expertise from both UBC faculty and from institutions throughout the world.



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