Science and Sociology
On Thursday night I attended a lecture by Dr. Trevor Pinch of Cornell University, as an extra credit assignment for my astronomy class. I was prepared to suffer through some boring lecture, most of which I probably wouldn’t understand, and write my reflective paper. However, I found the talk to be extremely interesting. Dr. Pinch, before receiving his Masters degree and PhD in physics, recieved a BA in Sociology. His lecture was focused at pulling the fields of science and sociology together, to help explain the role society plays in science.
Various topics were discussed, some of which have already been mentioned on our blog. He discussed the importance of hands on work in science in order to develop skills, rather than just reading a book. He gave the example of performing an operation. You could read a thousand textbooks about how to make an insicion, but when it comes to actually cutting into someone, only actually doing the task will help you learn to do it better. Dr. Pinch also brought up the idea of the language used in scientific writing. Often it is very straightforward and undescriptive; however by leaving out the intricate details of an experiment or observation, you could actually be taking away from the actual event.
I found this lecture to especially reach me, because as a psychology major, the way I perceive things in science are probably much different than a chemist would. Dr. Pinch’s lecture helped me see the connection between the fields, and how in some ways my way of thinking could be beneficial to my understanding of science.
What do you guys think? Is there a place for sociology in science or do you picture the two fields as seperate?