Sociology | Advanced Topics. VT: Sociology of Science
S660 | 12199 | Gieryn

Sociology of Science		Fall Term 2009

Sociology S660 (Section12199)		Office:  Ballantine Hall 754
Instructor: Prof. Thomas F. Gieryn	Hours:  By Appointment
Thursdays, 12:20-2:20pm			Phone: 855-9973 (ask for Tom)
Institute for Social Research, Room 100
1022 East 3rd Street

This graduate seminar presents a one-semester survey of key works
and perennial issues in the sociology of science.  Our focus is the
sociology of science, with only occasional forays into the history
and philosophy of science or the interdisciplinary field of science
and technology studies.  Our pace will be almost breathless, as the
field has grown and changed so much that fifteen weeks cannot hold
it all.  By the end, you should be well-prepared to teach an
undergraduate class in the sociology of science, to succeed on a
qualifying exam in this field, and to know literatures that might be
useful for your own research projects.

1.  Attendance at all class meetings is expected.  Each session will
be a mix of lecture and discussion: you should come prepared to
participate in a critical assessment of assigned readings.  Toward
that end, by Wednesday at 5:00pm every week, each student will write
a brief “Engagement”--a response to the core readings assigned for
the next day's meeting (for example, the Engagement with Merton will
be due on Wednesday, September 9 at 5pm).  These Engagements should
be sent to me via e-mail, with your name and date at the top of your
text; I shall gather them up and send the entire set back to
everybody before the end of the day on Wednesday.  Ideally, your
Engagements will be something other than a synopsis of the works
read; I would prefer that you put forth arguments, indicating where
you agree or disagree with the author, highlighting differences
between these works and others read before.  Don't try to be
synoptic--pick a delimited issue, and develop it.  Each Engagement
should be the equivalent of about one print page, single spaced.

2. The readings listed below are divided into "core"
and "ancillary."  Everybody must read all of the core readings each
week, and come to class prepared to discuss them.  In addition, each
week, several students will be assigned sections from the ancillary
readings, and they are responsible for bringing these "side issues"
into class discussions (ancillary readings may also be considered in
your Engagement for that week).

3.  Each registered student will prepare an 8-page paper
entitled "The Future of the Sociology of Science," due on Monday of
Finals Week (December 14).  The goal of the paper is to reflect upon
the development of the sociology of science so far, and then to
anticipate its next chapter (by identifying dropped stitches,
lacunae or missing links to developments in the wider discipline of

I detest the assignment of grades in graduate classes, but the
Registrar insists.  And besides, I certainly want you to spend as
much time on this course as you do on your other courses.  So:  each
of the following will count as 33% of your semester grade:
contributions to class discussions, engagements, and the paper.