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2012/2013  KAN-OI04  Knowledge Creation in Society

English Title
Knowledge Creation in Society

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc of Social Science
Course coordinator
  • Lars Heide - Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy
Main Category of the Course
  • Management of Information and Knowledge Management
Last updated on 06-12-2012
Learning objectives
In order to achieve the grade of 12, the student must fulfill the following learning objectives:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the role and function of expertise and the use of scientific knowledge in society
  • Analyze discourses behind different positions in arguments supported by scientific knowledge claims
  • Identify and analyze knowledge claims and their relations to application (innovation) and governance
  • Identify and analyze the relations between theoretical positions in the understanding of the science-society relationship.
48-hour written exam:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner Second internal examiner
Exam period Spring Term, The exam is an individual 48-hour written exam (max. 12 pages) based on a set of questions assigned by the examiner.
Aids Open Book, Written Aid is permitted
Duration 48 Hours
Course content

The course will introduce students to central themes in understanding the relation between scientific knowledge production and society as it has evolved since ww2. Since the dawn of large scale experimental based research, scientific knowledge production has found its way by a variety of routes into ordinary life situations.

The perceived objectivity of scientific research often depends on the functionality of the technology that permeates all of society but is increasingly challenged by society. The course will follow key themes from the classic Merton/Popper understanding of science through the critical laboratory studies to the recent debate on social constructivism in science and the theories on new relationships between science and society such as Mode 2 and Triple Helix and new forms of governance of science and innovation policy.

The historical perspective on scientific knowledge production presented by the course will provide students with a much needed platform for understanding the changing role of key areas of scientific knowledge in society, like the role of expert knowledge, the relationship between scientific knowledge and applied knowledge and innovation, especially in the high tech areas of science.
The course will use a series of selected but related cases in order to have students to participate in discussions in class.

Teaching methods
Lectures, case analyses, discussions etc.
Expected literature

Please note that the litterature is guiding.

Sismondo, Sergio (2010). An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.

Selected papers and chapters:

* = full text paper to be downloaded from the CBS library web (stable links to the web will be distributed).

Other papers will be printed in the compendium.


Brown, N., Rappert, B., & Webster, A. (2000) Contested Futures: A sociology of prospective techno-science. Ashgate, Aldershot, p.3-14

Callon, Michael, Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation. Domestification of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St. Brieuc Bay, in M. Biaglio (ed.) (1998) The Science Study Reader, New York Routledge. p. 67-83

Collins, Harry & Trevor Pinch, The Naked Lunch: Assigning the blame for the Challenger Explosion, in Collins, H., & Pinch, T. (1998). The Golem at large. What you should know about technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p.30-56

Edge, D. (1995) Reinventing the Wheel. In Jasanoff, S. et al: 'Handbook of Science and Technology Studies'. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, 3-24.

*Etzkowitz, Henry & Loet Leydesdorff (2000). The dynamics of innovation: from national systems and "Mode 2" to a triple Helix of university-industry-government relations. Research Policy , vol.29 pp. 109-123.

*Funtowicz, Silvio O. & Jerome R. Ravetz (1993). Science for the post-normal age. Futures , vol.25, (no.7), pp. 739-755.

*Hansson, Finn, (2010) Dialogue in or with the peer review. Science and public policy (forthcoming).

*Hedgecoe, A. & Martin, P. (2003) The drugs don't work: Expectations and the shaping of pharmacogenetics. InSocial studies of science, 33 (3) 327-364.

*Horst, M. & Irwin, A (2010) Nations at ease with radical knowledge: On consensus, consensusing and false consensusness. Social Studies of Science. OnlineFirst, published on September 24, 2009.

Irwin, Alan, STS Perspectives on Scientific Governance. In Hackett, E. et al (2008) The handbook of science and technology studies. Cambridge Ma, The MIT Press. Pp.583-607.

Irwin, A. & Michael, M.(2003) Science, social theory and public knowledge. Open University Press, Maidenhead. p. 19-40

*Jacob, Merle (2009) On Commodification and the Governance of Academic Research. Minerva 47: 391-405.

Kuhn, Thomas S. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. chap. 3 and 6

Latour, B. (1983) Give Me a Laboratory and I Will Raise the World. In Biagioli, M.: 'The Science Studies Reader'. Routledge, New York, p. 258-275.

Lewenstein, B. V. (1995) Science and the Media. In Jasanoff, S. et al: 'Handbook of Science and Technology Studies'. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, p. 343-360.

Latour, Bruno & Steve Woolgar (1986). Laboratory Life. The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton University Press, Princeton. p. 187-201

*Merton, Robert K. (1938). Science and the Social order. Philosophy of Science , vol.5, (no.3), p. 321-337.

Merton, Robert K. (1968). Science and democratic social structure, in Social theory and social structure. The Free Press, New York.p. 605-614.

Merton, Robert K.& Barber, Elinor (2004). The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity. Princeton University Press. Chap. 9, p. 158-198.

*Nowotny, Helga, Peter Scott, & Michael Gibbons (2003). Introduction: `Mode 2' Revisited: The New Production of Knowledge. Minerva , vol.41, (no.3), p. 179-194.

Stokes, Donald E. (1997). Pasteur's quadrant. The Brookings Institution. Chap. 3

Porter, Theodore M. (1995). Trust in Numbers. The pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life. Princeton University Press, Princeton. p. 148-190.

Whitley, Richard (2000). The Intellectual and Social Organization of the Sciences. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Chap. 5. The Organizational Structures of Scientific Fields. p. 151-218.

Last updated on 06-12-2012