Writer’s Choice Essay

In this midterm, students can either respond to one of the two prompts below *or* they can analyze an external source through course readings (further information and requirements below). Please mark your choices clearly, beginning your response with “Prompt A,” “Prompt B”. All submissions should be online and can either be uploaded as a separate file or entered directly as text. Please limit your responses to 750 words (roughly three pages of 12 pt., double-spaced text). Responses should be your own work. Please reread your responses and edit before submission. Please do not share your responses with other students or discuss them before the submission deadline. Sharing or discussing examination work may inadvertently produce too strong a similarity between the responses of different students, which would then result in responses not being credited. The deadline is Monday, Oct. 17, 1 PM.

Further information on options and requirements:


A: Several of our authors discuss how scientific discourse presumes or posits different types of distance separating scientists from non-scientists. These authors include Arendt, Bensaude-Vincent, Merton, Jasanoff and Shapin. Choosing three to four of these specific authors from across different weeks, how would you relate their discussions of this “distance” or “gap” to one another?

B: Several of our authors discuss ideas of scientific or technoscientific progress, including Arendt, Haldane, Jasanoff, Kuhn, and Snow. Please choose three to four of these specific authors from different weeks and compare and contrast the role of progress in their work.
I have to choose 3.4 people from different weeks, so I will list them from WEEK 3. Snow has a well-known book called “The Two Cultures”, but it can only be accessed through the school’s website, I think. and Steven Shapin, “Why the Public ought to Understand Science-in-the-making” is also that. If you want to use this book and the article and it is not available online, please let me know.
Week 3: Steven Shapin, Haldane, Merton
Week 4: Kuhn, Arendt(On Revolution)
Week 5: Snow
Week 6: Kuhn, Arendt(The Conquest of Space and Stature of Man)
Week 7: Jasanoff, Bensaude-Vincent

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