Gender and Science: An Introduction

Winter 2017 quarter

Taught by

marine science
  • UG

How do knowledge, power, language and gender interact? How has that interrelationship generated the very idea of gender and gender difference? How does our human understanding of the universe relate to ideas such as universality and objectivity? This introductory program explores and interrogates the gendered production of knowledge and its close relationship to power, human culture and the idea of nature.

The history of women’s intellectual production and thought has long been silenced or suppressed by patriarchal structures, and to a great extent continues today through institutionalized sexism, androcentrism, and heteronormativity. This fraught history will be unpacked, attendant with the celebration of women's and othered genders' contributions to scientific knowledge. This program will provide an opportunity for lower division students to gain exposure to the interaction of the natural sciences and social sciences, the societal imprint on science about gender, traditional and critical perspectives on biology and the achievements of women with science. Students who wish to study further in science, science history, gender studies and/or critical theory will obtain a broad foundational overview in this program.

We will read feminist philosophy of science, sociological studies on science, work by and research on women scientists. We will conduct workshops to confront issues of gender socialization as it relates to quantitative reasoning. Topics to be examined through feminist lenses and laboratory investigations may encompass ecology, developmental biology, genetics, fertilization, reproduction, sex determination, sexuality, and gendered social norms. Books by Rachel Carson, Marlene Zuk and Cordelia Fine will be featured alongside work by Sandra Harding, Donna Haraway, and Patricia Hill Collins. Writing exercises, essays, in-class workshop and lab activities, and lab notebook observations will be emphasized.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology gender and women's studies philosophy of science

Preparatory For

gender studies, history or philosophy of science, and biology.


Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, January 9th at 12pm (Sem IIA2109)

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning


$47 for entrance tickets and supplies, including a reader produced by the copy center.


2016-10-17New winter opportunity added.