STS courses at the University of Helsinki during Autumn 2020

Science & Technology Studies The course will present the main areas of discussion associated with the field of Science & Technology studies: precursors of STS, Social Construction of Technology (SCOT), Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (SSK), Actor-Network Theory (ANT), feminist technoscience, biopolitics, knowledge production, sociotechnical imaginaries, and expertise. From each of these areas, the course will introduce to the student the relevant theoretical concepts and methodological tools that characterise them, as well as the way they are connected and/or overlap with each other.

Sociology of Health, Illness and Medicine The aim of the course is to introduce students to current discussions, debates and theories in the field of sociology of health and illness and sociology of medicine. The topics include introduction to classical theories of sociology of health and illness as well as new conceptions of care and patienthood. We discuss paradigm changes such as personalized genomics and preventive medicine and new health technologies and their implications to patients, health care and sociology.

Science in Society The post-graduate course Science in Society (SiS) provides an up-to-date perspective into how science and scientific expertise relate to society and contemporary social issues. The course draws from social studies of science (science and technology studies), philosophy of science and to a lesser degree from studies in higher education.

Tieteen julkisuus ja tiedeviestintä Opintojakso johdattaa tieteen julkisuuden erilaisiin muotoihin, niiden kehitykseen ja analyysiin. Opintojaksossa käsitellään mm. tieteen ja median suhdetta, tieteen julkista ymmärrystä ja tiedebarometrejä, tiedettä verkossa ja sosiaalisessa mediassa.

TOTEMI is an ongoing PhD seminar.

Past courses

Spring 2020

The Politics of Environmental Knowledge course gives students knowledge and tools to critically evaluate the role of science and scientific knowledge in understanding environmental problems and creating solutions for them. Students will be able to apply the theoretical concepts from science and technology studies (STS) to the analysis of historical and current environmental issues.

Imagination in Environmental Politics course supplies the students with skills to critically review existing conceptual categorizations and conceptualizations of the future within the field of environmental politics (theoretical aspect); critically apply these categorizations and conceptualizations in relation to specific empirical cases (empirical aspect); and critically assess and evaluate existing future-oriented narration of different kinds and registers (methodological aspect).

Analytical approaches to human environmental interaction course gives students the skills to conduct critical interdisciplinary analyses of problems arising in interactions between technology, society and the environment. They can propose theoretically sound, evidence based and sustainable solutions to complex environmental problems. They have the communication skills to convincingly present the solutions to the relevant stakeholders. They are mentally prepared to take on professional challenges in environmental policy analysis, planning, decision-making, implementation and assessment.

There are book exams organized in Technology Studies , in Science Studies and in Environment, Technology and Culture.

TOTEMI is an ongoing PhD seminar.

Fall 2019

Science in Society course for doctoral students aims at developing participants’ understanding about how science and scientific experts(/expertise) influence and relate to society and its institutions. the course also provides an opportunity to reflect upon the participants’ own developing expertise in their fields of study.

Science Studies course for Master’s and Doctoral Students has two objectives. First, to become familiar with the main streams of thought in STS, the most important authors, situate them in their historical context, and understand how they relate to each other. And second, to be able to discuss different STS approaches in light of their different critiques and relate them to contemporary debates in the field.

Artificial Intelligence and Society course introduces students to current discussions, debates, as well as developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) from a social scientific perspective. The course will also provide the students with an overview of political, legal and ethical debates surrounding the development of AI.