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Class Notes 03/14/11

Hilary_Brashear's picture

Class notes 3/14

(Sorry if I misspell people’s names!)

We began with course keeping, as usual.

Liz reminded us that: This course is constructed to try to find some interesting intersections. What are the big ideas that connect these four areas? What is the overall road map? What are the connecting ideas?

We divided into smaller groups to discuss the reading, "Moored Metamorphoses: A Retrospective Essay on Feminist Science Studies." By Banu Subramaniam

My group, the Poppies said:

What is it: Feminist science studies are in part looking at how science is written and part looking at women in science.  It is hard to define the field as one thing because feminist and science studies are already so varied on their own.  

Where was it/ Where is it now: It didn’t exist until women scientist started to share their experiences. Began more autobiographically and then turned into a critique of science.

Where is it going: We recognized that Subramaniam asks that not only does feminist thought be incorporated into science but science needs to be incorporated into feminist thought.  There is now a move from critique to creating a new way of doing science; confronting alternative knowledge systems

In our reporting back to the group we discussed the movement of critique to creation. We suggested perhaps not a total move but a combination of the two.

We pointed out the distinction Subramaniam makes between women in science and women/gender and science. The development of the field of feminist science studies has been previously looking at women in science and is now transitioning to the latter distinction.

The rose group I believe brought up the idea of thinking about two axes, feminism and the sciences, as a way to map the two fields to see where they overlap and where they are separate. They used this visual representation when thinking about defining feminist science studies.

Many had the feeling that there were too many things to look at to create one definition.  It was fractured in the beginning because of differences in feminism and science. Different types of sciences and different types of feminism. Now we are in a we are in transition period, how do we move forward, what is going to come next?

We also brought up the pipeline metaphor Subramaniam employs, remembering as she said that “leaks” can be helpful. We need institutions to embrace intersections.  

We then looked for connections to other authors we read.

We saw a connection to Harraway’s call for breaking binaries.

Connection to Hayles because she questions where knowledge and meaning comes from In this article on page 959 Subramaniam looks at knowledge production.

Roughgarden as an example someone in feminist science studies, critiquing Darwin but also incorporating two fields.

Reminder to not just advocate an individual perspective but to hold multiple ideas in your head and try to collectively

We then were asked to write down our relationship to science and a metaphor for that connection.

My relationship to science is the foundations of most of my beliefs. My connection to science is like my connection to a desk chair on wheels  

Isabel: intersection with science is resistant. Metaphor: it is like a rubber band no matter how far away I try to get I need to relate back to it.

Mirella: relationship like a flexible ruler.

For Ibela it is everything, a universal that you can’t escape. We can’t function without it.

For Kate and Hillary science is very structured which Kate can find restricting, she likes to see what other options are out there.

Mona: distinction between biological and computer sciences. Like that in biological sciences you can understand what’s going on around you and find answers to why things happen the way they do. In computer science it is more about creativity and finding new ways to do things.





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