Features Lectures

Podcasts: STS 101

I may be the last person to have heard about this, but I’m going to post it anyway. The other day a friend told me about an excellent series of podcasts on CBC Radio One’s Ideas program called How To Think About Science.

The series is basically a set of interviews with many of the leading philosophers, historians, anthropologists and sociologists of science, geared for an educated non-specialist audience and very accessible. The interviewees include such scholars as Simon Schaffer, Bruno Latour, Lorraine Daston and Ian Hacking, as well as McGill’s very own Margaret Lock and Allan Young.

I was surprised to see an academic discipline given such thorough coverage in a relatively mainstream media outlet, although the series is understandably framed as a look at science as an institution rather than STS per se.

3 replies on “Podcasts: STS 101”

Hi–I just learned of this blog through the Savage Minds website and want to thank you! I’m a med anthropologist who teaches in STS and some of the stuff you’ve posted so far (the CBC radio show on science; the illness narratives archive) looks like it will be fantastic for teaching. Thanks so much and keep up the great work.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. We’re going to try to post more regularly once the academic year gets going.

Yes, this series is great.

Support the CBC (whose funding has just been gutted) by asking your library to PURCHASE the CDs of this series.

There is also another series by the same producer (Davd Cayley) on “Population” — it was produced at the time of the 1994 Cairo ICPD but the content remains vivid and current in tits discussion of demongraphy, the idea of “population explosion” and the questions of reproductive rights and coercion.

The great thing about using these audio materials in teaching is that you can make them very interactive — you can pause the recording at any time for discussion, and because people are focused on words not images (as with films) it is easier to pause to let people absorb a significant point, to respond to a student’s facial expression or body language (as a sign of disagreement or puzzlement), or to editorialize on the material yourself.

I really enjoy making the listening into a social and group experience. I think these resources also help students see themselves as participants in a community of dialogue (more than reading does).

Stacy Pigg

Comments are closed.