Science, Technology and Society

By Prof. Sambit Mallick   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 266
The objective of the course is to enable students to understand science as a socio-cultural product in specific socio-historical contexts. The course exposes students to philosophical, historical and sociological perspectives to look at science as a practice deeply embedded in culture and society. It emphasizes the dynamic nature of the relations between wider cultural practices on one hand and scientific practices on the other. The attempt is to equip students with an understanding indispensable for an in-depth study of science-technology-society dynamics.

INTENDED AUDIENCE  : UG and PG students of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences and Engineering
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 26 Jul 2021
End Date : 15 Oct 2021
Exam Date : 23 Oct 2021
Enrollment Ends : 02 Aug 2021
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Course layout

Week 1:  Science, Technology and Society: Cognitive and Ethical Dimensions
Week 2:  Science, Technology and Society: Methodological Dimensions I
Week 3:  Science, Technology and Society: Methodological Dimensions II
Week 4:  Science, Technology and Society: Methodological Dimensions III
Week 5:  Inequalities in Science I
Week 6:  Inequalities in Science II
Week 7:  Technology as Knowledge
Week 8:  Social Shaping of Technology I
Week 9:  Social Shaping of Technology II
Week 10: Social Shaping of Technology III
Week 11: Information Society
Week 12: Science and Technology in India

Books and references

1. B. Barnes and D. Edge (eds.), Science in Context: Readings in the Sociology of Science, The Open University Press, 1983.
2. G. Basalla, The Evolution of Technology, Cambridge University Press, 1988.
3. C.A. Alvares, Homo Faber: Technology and Culture in India, China and the West, 1500 to the Present Day, Allied Publishers, 1979.
4. A.F. Chalmers, What is this Thing called Science?, The Open University Press, 1980.
5. R. MacLeod and D. Kumar (eds.), Technology and the Raj: Western Technology and Technical Transfers to India, Oxford University Press, 1995.
6. I. Hacking, The Social Construction of What?, Harvard University Press, 2001.
7. E.J. Hackett, O. Amsterdamska, M. Lynch and J. Wajcman (eds.), The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, The MIT Press, 2008.
8. J.R. Kloppenberg Jr., First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, 1492-2000, The Macmillan Press, 1988.
9. D. Lyon, Information Society: Issues and Illusions, Polity Press, 1988.
10.D. MacKenzie and J. Wajcman (eds.), The Social Shaping of Technology, The Open University Press, 1999.
11.H. Rose and S. Rose, The Political Economy of Science: Ideology of/in the Natural Sciences, The Macmillan Press Ltd., 1976.
12. W. Bijker, T.P Hughes and T. Pinch (eds.), The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology, The MIT Press, 1989.

Instructor bio

Prof. Sambit Mallick

IIT Guwahati
Sambit Mallick is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. He specializes in the sociology of science and technology, and also includes historical sociology and philosophy of the social sciences among his research interests. His research and teaching are at the intersection of philosophy, social theory, and science and technology studies. His courses under NPTEL have attracted a large number of students even from the remote areas in India and abroad.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 October 2021 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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