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Předmět, akademický rok 2022/2023
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Sociology of Science and Scientific Knowledge - JSM016
Anglický název: Sociology of Science and Scientific Knowledge
Zajišťuje: Katedra sociologie (23-KS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2021
Semestr: zimní
E-Kredity: 8
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:0/2, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (25)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: Mgr. Jan Maršálek, Ph.D.
Termíny zkoušek   Rozvrh   Nástěnka   
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (09.09.2021)
“Sociology and Uncontroversial Science: the Fomite Transmission of Covid-19”

The growth and success of the modern sociology of science is closely related to the study of scientific controversies. The works of H. Collins (1975, 1981, 1985), M. J. S. Rudwick’s book (1985), and S. Shapin and S. Schaffer’s study (1985) are widely regarded as having helped to constitute the “new” sociology of science, which brought the social studies of science to the center stage of sociology more generally. From the methodological point of view, scientific controversies have proven to be a richly exploitable situation in which the internal organization – or rather the process of organizing – of science can be comfortably observed. In contrast to what already established scientific facts suggest, it has been shown that the laws of pure reason do not govern science as exclusively as one might believe. Consequently, scientific controversies have become for many scholars the “strategic research site” the need for which was stipulated by the classic representative of the “old” sociology of science, R. K. Merton (Merton 1963).

When such privileged epistemological position is ascribed to scientific controversies, how to deal then with uncontroversial science? The still evolving case of the thesis according to which Covid-19 may spread via contaminated surfaces (called fomites) will provide us with abundant study material.
Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (09.09.2021)

Course requirements and assignments


1. Active participation in the class, class attendance is required

2. Oral presentation

3. Term paper


This is a Master level research seminar, the attendants are expected to be familiar with general sociological literature.

No training in biology, virology or epidemiology is presumed.

Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (09.09.2021)

Sociology of Science and Scientific Knowledge (JSM016)

“Sociology and Uncontroversial Science: the Fomite Transmission of Covid-19”

Winter Term, 2021/2022, ECTS: 8, STARTING OCTOBER 7!


Jan Maršálek, Institute of Philosophy, The Czech Academy of Sciences


The course takes place at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society Studies (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences – FLÚ AV ČR): http://stss.flu.cas.cz/en Address: FLÚ AV ČR, Jilská 1, Praha 1 (1st floor, the conference room).


Contact: marsalek@flu.cas.cz


Meetings: Weekly every Thursday, 5:00-7 p.m., starting October 7.

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Jana Vojanová (22.09.2021)

1. Introduction (October 7)


2. The Suspicion


Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (1966), chapter 2: Secular Defilement.


3. The Contamination


Carol Nemeroff, Paul Rozin, The Contagion Concept in Adult Thinking in the United States: Transmission of Germs and of Interpersonal Influence. Ethos, Vol. 22, No. 2 (1994), 158-186.

(group 1)

Cyrus C.M. Mody, “A Little Dirt Never Hurt Anyone: Knowledge-Making and Contamination in Material Science”, Social Studies of Science, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Feb. 2001), 7-36.

(group 2)


3. The Fomite Transmission of Covid-19


Selected papers (medicine, virology, epidemiology).


4. Replications


G. D. L. Travis, Replicating Replication? Aspects of the Social Construction of Learning in Planarian Worms. Social Studies of Science , Feb., 1981, Vol. 11, No. 1, Special Issue: 'Knowledge and Controversy: Studies of Modern Natural Science' (Feb., 1981), pp. 11-32.


5. The Fomite-Thesis: Replicating Experiments?


Selected papers (medicine, virology, epidemiology).


6. Controversies


Robert K. Merton, "The Normative Structure of Science", in Merton, Robert K. (ed.), The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 267–278.


7. Controversies


Harry M. Collins, "Son of Seven Sexes: The social Destruction of a Physical Phenomenon", Social Studies of Science, Vol. 11, No. 1, Feb. 1981, pp. 33-62. 


8. Missing Controversies


Helga Nowotny, “Social Aspects of the Nuclear Power Controversy,” IIASA Research Memorandum. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RM-76-033.


9. Missing Controversies


Andrew Pickering, “Constraints on Controversy: The Case of the Magnetic Monopole.” Social Studies of Science, vol. 11, 1981, pp. 63-93.


10. Fading Theories


Selected papers (medicine, virology, epidemiology).


11. Fading Theories. Conclusions


The Aerosol-Thesis.

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