Students, all through from undergraduate right through to post-doctoral fellows are really engaged in broader questions within these fields, partly tearing down some of the boundaries… History of Science, History of Medicine, History of Technology, STS…and starting to borrow from a variety of fields and ask really interesting sophisticated questions.
I think you can do good science…if you actually understand the conceptual structure of the discipline, you can make better contributions to it than if you just kinda assume that you’re uncovering truth, truth after truth and there’s really no underlying agenda. Because there is one.
Essentially [the field of STS/HPS] asks ‘What difference does it make that science and technology…is a human activity?’ …It’s always seemed to me that the value that I bring to students, the value that I bring to the wider public, when I think about science studies, is in really embedding the enterprise of science within the social milieu.
Everyone gravitates towards elements of what the network in Canada does because they are fundamental questions at the heart of it. Basically, what STS or HPS look at fundamentally is ‘what is nature?’ and ‘how do we know it?’ And that’s the starting point. And then you have all these different types of questions that spawn from that and that are really really interesting.