Question Forum 2 - Questions

Questions Forum 2
1) Identify the competing discourses of doubt/ support surrounding the nuclear missile in Hughes’s article, and describe the implications for the nuclear missile debate. What can this case tell us about the relationship between technology and society? Does this article introduce different approaches than we have seen in previous weeks?
2) Does Hughes’ perspective on technological artifacts tend to support or refute Langdon Winner’s idea that artifacts have politics? Delineate the nuances of both arguments and their implications. Looking back at how artifacts are described by the authors in our previous classes is there a trend that can be identified?
3) Merton and Kuhn imply a normative underpinning of science and scientific discovery. What does Hughes’ perspective of the development of technology and large technological works imply about the role of expertise and scientific processes? How does this coalesce with (or contradict) the process of the development of technology as described by Merton and Kuhn?
4) When considering the rhetoric surrounding the technology of war compare the tropes of mechanical versus human uncertainty and what their implications are for the sociology of science. Furthermore, what might the certainty trough be able to tell us about high and low-church distinctions in STS? (MacKenzie, pgs. 350-351)
5) Put Pinch & Bijker’s Empirical Programme of Relativism (EPOR) and Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) in conversation with one another. How do the authors highlight their similarities and differences, and how are these used to forge an argument for a new/ combined approach. Also, feel free to address the political and disciplinary work being done by their proposal, and how it may have influenced the field of STS. (Pinch & Bijker, pgs. 26-40)

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