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Science, Technology and Society- Final Assignment

Tushar Nandkeoliar
Section A, Roll No- 84
IntroductionUnderstanding Science and technology studies and what impact it has on the
society, I tried to read and understand chapter 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 of Sismondo
(2010) and below is my attempt to review the same.
As a youngster, the universe of science was acquainted with me as basic
science. At that point, what I comprehended from it was somewhat that material
science juggled with measurements of time, space, and speed and so forth also
some forms of science resembled math and others with containers and also the
plant and human physiology.
The investigation of science innovation and society helps us comprehend
ourselves better. We people have dependably been interested about the world
around us and have dependably scrutinized the unimportant to recognize the
rationale that holds everything together in place. With evolving times, we have
developed on the learning and utilized it to tackle the issues that we confront as
a general public. Technology is only the utilization of science. The viable use of
all the satisfactory and additionally exploratory speculations in structures that
have framed an indispensable part of the human life involves innovation.
Science and Technology as social establishments have unmistakable structures,
duties, practices, and talks that shift crosswise over societies and change after
some time. As a research, it addresses questions like: is there an experimental
strategy; what makes exploratory certainties believable; and how does science
identify with religion?
It also concerns itself more with the effects and control of science and
technology, with specific spotlight on the dangers that S&T may pose to peace,
security, group, popular government, natural supportability, and human
qualities. Driving this collection of exploration are inquiries like the
accompanying: in what capacity given to states set needs for research
subsidizing; how life structures are protected; in what manner the social orders
measure dangers and set wellbeing models; and by what it means to specialists
who convey the explanations behind their judgments to people in general.


Theory of Falsification:
Nothing should be accepted as it is, and we should not be on a quest to prove
and confirm a theory, rather a theory should be first falsified. Developed by Karl
Popper, falsification is the rational dismissal of theories on the basis of empirical
data. A process of deriving observations from theory, it is a belief that for any

theory to have validation it should first be integrally disapproved before it is

accepted as a scientific theory. , Popper maintained that having come up with a
hypothesis, one should seek evidence which refutes it. The process of evaluation
in falsificationism is very strict concluding: that if there is no risky prediction, it is
not scientific; that if a prediction fails, it is ruled false; and if there are risky
predictions made, it is accepted until the finding of new evidence. Pretty much
Popper was willing to dispose of anything to due the absence of confirmation
behind it, or basically not willing to with the exception of anything as
demonstrated. Poppers theory had a problem the so called 'scientific method'
required an infinite number of hypotheses, yet was not robust, failed with
existential statements, failed with probabilistic statements and failed in practice
anyway due to the necessity of auxiliary assumptions. How has Popper's
falsification performed in practice? Newton's gravitational theory, Bohr's theory
of the atom, kinetic theory, the Copernican Revolution and the theory of
evolution were all falsified, despite being excellent examples of science. Hence
we may say that Popper's falsification fails in both theory and practice.
Logical positivism:
Developed in 1930s in Vienna, Under logical positivism, a statement is
meaningful only if it can be translated into an empirically verifiable idea.
Otherwise it is vacuous. This is a very simple yet extremely powerful principle
that it takes out rational observations from data to disprove or prove a theory.
The basic goal at the end through this view is to confirm the truth of scientific
hypothesis by using logical mathematical methods and scientific observations to
create a scientific language that can represent a uniform structure of the world
as a whole.
There are number of misunderstandings about logical positivism. Some are naive
and some are deliberate. I think it is silly to claim that logical positivism is
inconsistent just because its own truth value can't be verified by empirical
means. Another misunderstanding is rejection of metaphysics. Metaphysics,
under logical positivism, is just a secondary framework for expressing the real
content of knowledge that is sense experiences. It is like human invented
language to express some real idea. The language is just a "form" to express a
real thing. It is not the "content". Any language can be translated into another
language to express the same idea. The idea remains the same because it is the
primary content. Starting from about 1920 up to the WW-II, the logical positivism
was the prominent philosophical thoughts. Unfortunately, after the WW-II it came
under attack. It is not inconceivable that some of the motivations were indeed
political. In theoretical physics itself, the people who were more pro-logical
positivism were side tracked by various academic politics. There was also the
reason that a very strong form of logical positivist physics was also very difficult.
Quantum field theory was less positivist in its approach and it succeeded
spectacularly. Only recently, after the rebirth of string theory, those initial Smatrix theories are again in vogue.

Kuhns Revolution model: Paradigm shift

The model discusses investigative advancement and how it is a relentless
procedure and how it is developed on past learning. Different people will see a

particular problem differently, based on their own principles, ideas and

experiences. According to Kuhn, the real evolution or so as to say, revolution
occurs when scientists experience aberrations or anomalies which are not
identified by the set of standard paradigms laid out through research till then
yet. A paradigm shift is defined as A complete transformation of your beliefs and
ideas, i.e your perspective, when exposed to a new piece of information or
So, a paradigm shift is a change from one paradigm to another, typically
involving basic changes in the fundamental concepts that define the paradigm.
In physics, for example, quantum theory represented a new paradigm that
changed some of the basic notions of the nature of matter and energy. Kuhn
challenged the view that there are objective, paradigm-independent standards
for evaluating scientific claims or selecting the paradigms themselves. This
opens the door for non-empirical factors to play a part in determining what
paradigm is selected and, consequently, what ultimately becomes accepted as
scientific knowledge. Not surprisingly, this was quite provocative and ultimately
resulted in Structure of scientific revolutions itself becoming a new paradigm in
the history of science.
Robert Mertons structural-functionalism:
Mertons view, the general public is managed by three establishments Religion,
government and science. These have a tendency to characterize the general
public and make it what it is and an equalization is required inside these three to
keep up solidness in the general public. In his hypothesis he has set out the
guidelines of the general public which encourage satisfactory investigative
practice. These establishments are necessary and indispensible in institutions,
and the members of society who follow them are given incentives and rewards
and those who dont are penalized or sanctioned. There are four most important
ethos which were described in 1942 namely: universalism, communism,
disinterestedness and organized skepticism.
Universalism: Two aspects of Merton's universalism are expressed in the
statements that "objectivity precludes particularism" and "free access to
scientific pursuits is a functional imperative". Merton logical objectivity should
be given more importance and it should be viewed with an open and objective
comparison with scientific facts. This means that a scientists claims should be
analyzed by experts without any importance or emphasis given to the caste,
race, religion, nationality or gender of the scientist proposing the claim.
Communism: The people who think of various thoughts and speculations merit
the credit for their manifestations and inventiveness, it is common property
which is to be equally shared and everyone is entitled to this knowledge. This
helps the general public overall since now, because of this standard, science is
similarly available to everybody and is presently an essential segment which
advances the best possible working, adornment and development of the people
all in all.
Disinterestedness: Disinterestedness expresses that a researcher ought to be
fair-minded and impartial towards the outcomes, regardless of what cases they
are supporting. This standard of disinterestedness was fundamentally gone for
imparting a sentiment regular welfare in the researcher's psyches. To take a

gander at the general addition of the general public overall as opposed to at

individual or individual increases is the embodiment of this standard.
Organized Skepticism: New age society firmly puts stock in making
information supported cases. The logical specialist does not safeguard the
cleavage between the holy and the profane, between that which requires
uncritical appreciation and that which can be impartially examined. The Indian
society is a perfect example of this, generally biased and superstitious, believing
things that are generally never backed by data or evidences.

Stratification and Discrimination

The power of bringing about the change in technology or society in general lies
with the select few who we consider as elites. While considering it from the
perspective of an organisation it is less demanding to use all the assets
accessible to achieve the coveted change in the framework though people
discover it troublesome when the sort of work they are attempting to finish is
asset concentrated. organisations are for the most part a closely organized and
don't permit individuals who are occupied with the sort of examination unless
they have pertinent instruction in that field. The most gainful researcher is
somebody who is driven, has a solid sense of self, has a past filled with acting
self-rulingly , plays with thoughts, endures equivocalness, is at home with
deliberations, is withdrawn from non-scientific social relations, holds mornings for
composing, deals with routinized issues, is moderately youthful, went to a
prestigious doctoral level college, had a prestigious education and is at present
at a prestigious spot of vocation, has impressive opportunity to pick their own
issues, has a background marked by achievement.
We realize that history is brimming with illustrations where people did not have
applicable instruction but rather regardless they figured out how to achieve
colossal change in the public arena taking into account their enthusiasm for the
field and their diligent work. This boundary that averts people to work together
with the associations is something that stops us as a general public to advance
Actor Network Theory
The chapter discusses how politicians build networks to win elections and how
scientists and researchers build their networks for research. It is an approach
which treats objects as part of social networks. Initially made by French
researchers Latour and Callon as an endeavor to comprehend procedures of
mechanical development and investigative information creation, Actor-Network
Theory (ANT) can be appeared differently in relation to "brave" records of
exploratory development. Understanding this from the context of organization vs
individuals we can infer that this ANT techno science enables individuals with
virtually all the resource needed to
try out a thing that could probably go on to change the world of technology and
our society eventually.
Steve Jobs vs Microsoft
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are two individuals who have changed the face of
technology today. They weren't rivals, rather competitors due to the different

Jobs was a person who wanted to deliver a product which is very simple to use
yet of the best quality possible. He truly believed in " simplicity" being the
ultimate most sophistication. He wanted the product to be perfect, even the
parts which were not visible to the end user like inner wiring of the computers.
He stressed for innovation and wanted products to be made at the cross section
of liberal arts and technology. He never believed in market research. He believed
the consumer does not know what it wants until Apple, his company makes a
product and provide it to them. He believed in making a closed system where the
software, hardware all of it was controlled by a single company or in the words of
Bill Gates, unlike Jobs, believed in strategies already in use. He wanted his
products to reach to most parts of the world and for that he was ready to make
compromises with a minimalist design and settle for a cheaper complex design
for his products. He was a good programmer too and was rather more interested
in software. His company Microsoft outsources various components which are
then assembled to give a product.That is he does not believe in system to be
closed. He rather believes in the long run, "open" systems will be successful.
Unlike apps written for Apple which are highly scrutinized to follow set standard,
Gates believes that unless outside developers modify things, innovation cant be
As a result, Apple products are concentrated in the hands of those who can
afford it while Microsoft has delivered products which can be used even by the
comparatively poor classes. However, Apple is estimated to be more valuable
than Microsoft as a company interestingly. And these two companies have had
These two different geniuses once worked together with Bill writing software for
Apple. And the so called "rivalry" started with Microsoft using the same GUI
technology as the one being used by Apple, but it rather matured into a clash of
ideas : whether the open system is better or the closed one, whether the
product should be simple( in terms of use and component placement)
yet expensive or a little complicated and modestly priced.
But why Steve jobs was more well admired than Bill Gates and Microsoft?
When Microsoft had a virtual monopoly in the PC market, the public perception of
Bill Gates was really negative. Apple was considered an underdog for a good twothree decades. Also, Bill Gates public image was negative during his trial
defending Microsoft's business practice (Explorer as the default web browser
instead of letting consumers decide between Explorer and Netscape, etc).
Someone actually threw a pie at Bill Gates, regarding him as the embodiment of
all that is wrong with capitalism.
Similar to the popular Apple commercial, the public perception is that Steve Jobs
is fun/relaxed whereas Bill Gates is boring/work-oriented. Notice the different

Like the popular Apple commercial, the public perception is that Steve Jobs is
artistic/cool whereas Bill Gates is nice and geeky. Also, Steve Jobs is a born
marketer with lines like, "Computers are like bicycles for our mind." He's able to
explain technically challenging material and make it accessible.
both men are associated with their company and products. Iphone was
revolutionary and cool and that just reinforces the perception of Steve Jobs as
this creative genius. Windows was evolutionary and business-oriented ("boring")
which reinforces the perception of Bill Gates as being a highly intelligent,
business-oriented person.

Jobs showed the world how to build a one-man company and that society and its
perceptions play a huge role in it as well. He built exquisite products and
convinced the people to create a demand for it themselves and now we can see
how people line up in front of stores for a new i-phone or place orders online
months before its launch.
Steve jobs used many different STS theories in his life to establish and develop
the APPLE brand, he was able to successfully understand the society and its need
for the latest technology and perceived its impact on the world.