14213 Science and Culture 1

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Cultural Studies

Prerequisites: Two of the following courses: Society, Culture and Representation; Theories and Approaches in Cultural Studies; Anthropological and Sociological Approaches to Cultural Studies; Multiculturalism in Israel

The course is based on a reader edited by Yaki Menschenfreund.

This course is dedicated to the examination of various issues concerning science in its cultural, social and historical contexts. The main assumption underlying the course is that science was not formed and developed in a vacuum, but in complex cultural, social and political conditions, and that understanding these conditions is crucial to the understanding of the scientific field and discourse, and of the place of science in Western culture. The course emphasizes the various ways in which cultural factors have influenced the growth of science and the crystallization of the scientific world-view. In accordance with the approach which considers science a human-social creation that is not independent of the cultural background in which it exists, this course focuses on the polemical nature of scientific discourse, which operates (among others) as an arena for conflicts among ideas, schools, groups and individuals. The general aim of the course is to make students rethink the very essence of science, by recognizing the numerous aspects of scientific discourse and its interactions with various cultural factors.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.