Epidemiological thinking applied to reducing domestic terrorism and gun violence, a podcast

There is a contrast in epidemiology and public health between shifting a population as a whole to reduce the risk of some disease and screening for high-risk individuals then treating them.  In a 9-minute podcast, this contrast is applied to vetting or banning immigrants in order to reduce risk of terrorism on US soil and to screening for mentally ill gun owners who might commit mass shootings.

The Haraway Hall of American Science Interpreters

A mock-up (with live-links) of the Haraway Hall was my draft product for “What does it cost to establish knowledge in a certain place at certain time for a certain people?” a project in a graduate course on gender, race, science, and literature intended to lead students into interpretation of the cultural dimensions of science. Specifically, the project asks students to “produce a mock-up of a museum display and text interpreting Haraway’s [Paper Tiger] video or texts in their 1980s context.”  Notice the confusion evident in the alternative scripts.  Comments welcome. Continue reading

Hacking almost helps us see what Hacking overlooks

The Social Construction of What? (Harvard UP, 2000) by philosopher of science, Ian Hacking, critically reviews the possible meanings of social construction in the context of scientific knowledge and technology.  However, there is one meaning of construction that he does not consider, perhaps the most obvious one to the common person, namely, the process of building a structure from diverse materials, as in the foundations, frames, walls, roof, plumbing and electrical circuits, and so on. (2011 post)

A 1975 book of Hacking’s, What does language matter to philosophy?, almost allows us to see what he overlooked at that time and still did in the 2000 book, namely, that knowing always involves engaging [*] or acting as if the world were like our explicit and implicit theories and representations of it. Continue reading

Alternation between complexities of situation studied and the situation of the studier: A series of writing projects

Let me share the ambitious writing plan I formulated during a workshop last October, given the need I see to feel generative not only reactive when making one’s work and life in the turbulent politics of the USA today. Continue reading

Evolving collection of themes for interpreting science in context

During the course of the semester co-teaching a graduate course on gender, race, and science, I will update this post with themes I use for interpreting science in context: Continue reading

Close reading, PBL, and tensions

Probe—Create Change—Reflect

A tension that has arisen often in conversations between my co-instructor and I and myself as we prepared for an upcoming course in life science, gender, and race, texts… – by tension I don’t mean something that is a disagreement or even something that has to be resolved, indeed perhaps the essence of co-teaching is that there are tensions to be played out in real time. The tension is that she understands that we cannot assign hundreds of pages to be read each week and still follow the project-based learning (PBL) process, yet she knows how much her scholarship and her teaching revolves around very close reading of texts.

Close reading makes me think about tensions in my own work. I know how much I get by puzzling out the structure of arguments. Sometimes this is drawn from examining the scene setting at the start of an article and the…

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Making sense of Genotype-Phenotype Distinction, another version 6

The revised draft begins:

The predominant current-day meaning of genotype is some relevant part of the whole genome, the DNA passed to the organism by its parents. The phenotype is the physical and behavioral characteristics of the organism, for example, size and shape, metabolic activities, and patterns of movement.   The distinction is especially important in evolutionary theory, where the survival and mating of organisms depends on their traits, but it is the DNA, held to be unaffected by the development of the traits over the life course, that is transmitted to the next generation.

However: Continue reading