Science and Values

Schedule | Grades and Assignments | Course Policies

Class Title:
HUHI 7387 Science and Technology in Western Culture: Science and Values
Class Time and Location
Tuesday 1-3:45pm, JO 4.112
Office Location and Hours:
JO 4.120, MW 4-5pm


  1. Matthew J. Brown, Science and Moral Imagination: A New Ideal for Values in Science (handouts)
  2. Frederick Grinnell, Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meet
    Objectivity and Logic
  3. Essays provided electronically

Schedule of Readings and Assignments

  1. 8/22 – Welcome. Introduction to Science Studies
    • Read Grinnell Ch 1
  2. 8/29 – Introduction to Science and Values
    • Read SMI Ch 1; Douglas, “Values in Science”
    • Assignment: In-class discussion of topics
  3. 9/5 – The Nature of Scientific Inquiry
    • Read SMI Ch 2; Grinnell Ch 2-3
    • Assignment: Research Proposal
  4. 9/12 – Arguments for Values in Science
    • Read McMullin 1982; Douglas “Inductive Risk and Values in Science”
    • Assignment: Meeting with Professor before today
  5. 9/19 – Arguments for Values in Science cont’d
    • Read SMI Ch 3; Dupre, “Fact and Value”
    • Assignment: List of Sources
    • First Research Report, Group A
  6. 9/26 – Science, Values, and Objectivity
    • Read Douglas, “The Irreducible Complexity of Objectivity”; Reiss and Sprenger, “Scientific Objectivity”
    • Recommended: Hesse, “In Defense of Objectivity”; Harding, “Strong Objectivity”; Longino, “Values and Objectivity”; Smith, “‘Social’ Objectivity and the Objectivity of Values”
    • First Research Report, Group B
  7. 10/3 – Theories of Values in Science
    • Longino, “How Values Can Be Good for Science”; Kourany, “Replacing the Value-Free Ideal of Science”; Review Douglas
    • First Research Report, Group C
  8. 10/10 – Theories of Values in Science cont’d
    • SMI Ch 4; Hicks, “A new direction for science and values”
    • Second Research Report, Group A
  9. 10/17 – The Sources of Values
    • SMI Ch 5; Johnson, Morality for Humans Ch 2
    • Second Research Report, Group B
  10. 10/24 – Value Judgment
    • SMI Ch 6; Johnson, Morality for Humans Ch 4; Smith, “‘Social’ Objectivity and the Objectivity of Values”
    • Second Research Report, Group C
  11. 10/31 (Halloween!) – The Ideal of Moral Imagination
    • SMI Ch 7
  12. 11/7 – Values in Planning of Scientific Inquiry
    • SMI Ch 8; Kitcher, TBD
    • Assignment: Paper Draft
  13. 11/14 – Values in Framing and Conduct of Scientific Inquiry
    • SMI Ch 9-10; Elliott, “The Ethical Significance of Language in the Environmental Sciences: Case Studies from Pollution Research”
    • Assignment: Response to Drafts
  14. 11/21 – Fall Break – No Class
  15. 11/28 – Third Research Report
  16. 12/5 – Science in Society and Values and Scientific Worldviews
    • SMI Ch 11-12
    • Assignment: Final Papers (on 12/8)
  17. 12/12 (2-4:45pm) – Final Presentations

Grades and Assignments

You should come to class having done the assigned readings, with a paper copy of the readings, prepared to discuss. The best way to do this is to mark brief passages from the readings that you wish to discuss in detail, and to write a list of discussion questions. When aspects of the reading are difficult or unfamiliar, you may want to do some background research or search for related readings that can help you triangulate the ideas.

This is a research seminar; your grade will depend heavily on a research project that you work on throughout the semester. Periodically, you will turn in components of the project and give in-class reports on your progress.

You research project should be on science and values, broadly construed, and preferably on a particular case study of a historical or contemporary scientific issue.

The components of the research project are:

  1. In-class discussion of topics 8/29

– Come prepared with 1-2 ideas of what your research project may focus on, and be able to explain them briefly in class.
1. Research Proposal 9/5
– 250-500 words; informally identify topics, research questions, or case study
2. Meeting with Professor (9/5-9/11)
– You must meet with me in office hours or by appointment to discuss your research topic.
2. List of Sources 9/19
– List of at least 20 articles, books, or archival documents that you might use in your project; formatted correctly according to Chicago/Turabian, APA, or MLA.
3. First Research Report (9/19, 9/26, or 10/3)
– Explain your project and describe your progress so far; 1 page handout printed front and back (2 pages content)
6. Second Research Report (10/10, 10/17, or 10/24)
– Update on your progress, discuss probably shape of your argument; 1 page handout printed front and back (2 pages content)
9. Paper Draft 11/7
– A full draft of your paper, somewhat polished, at least 3000 words.
10. Response to Drafts 11/14
– You will read the draft of two of your classmates and wrote a response of two pages or more. Your response can include questions, objections, counter-arguments, and requests for clarification but must be constructive.
8. Third Research Report (11/28)
– Update on your progress; 1-2 page handout printed front and back (2-4 pages content)
11. Final Papers 12/8
12. Formal Research Presentation (12/12 2-4:45pm)
– As a conference talk.

Course Policies