Category Archives: Podcasts
Biopolitical Experience offers an original and comprehensive interpretation of Michel Foucault’s analysis of biopolitics – situating biopolitics in the context of embodied histories of subjectivity, affective investments and structures of experience. Going beyond lamentation at the horrors of biopolitical domination, the book develops a positive-critique of biopolitical experience: offering explanations as to the enormous appeal of biopolitical discourse; and cultivating an affirmative, ethical and productive response to the technologies of biopolitical racism and securitization. Such a response is not about life escaping power or a retreat from life, but rather involves critical work on the conditions of production of population life (becoming collective). In addition to a detailed account of Foucault’s writings on biopolitics, biology and experience the book offers a critique of some key contemporary interpretations of Foucault and develops the positive-critique of biopolitical experience by exploring the place of biopolitics, racism and contingency in feminist politics.
A round table session from Discourses of Dissent, an event part funded by the Social Theory Centre, exploring how social theory can help us understand the politics of austerity. How do theoretical justifications of austerity work to constrain public debate? How does the current government’s incongruous blend of neoliberal realism and superficial progressivism relate to what went before it? What resources can we find in social theory to critique the coalition’s agenda and its relationship to the wider crisis of late capitalism?
In this podcast Eric Jensen talks about public engagement and the public understanding of science. His research on the impacts of public engagement with science for visitors and audiences cuts across a wide range of settings, from zoos to museums to festivals.
In this podcast Simon Williams talks about his new book the Politics of Sleep. While sleep is often taken to be a entirely private and natural part of human life, in recent years it has been the subject of a rich vein of interdisciplinary research.
As well as exploring the political dimensions to contemporary discourses and practices of sleep, the interview addresses some of the broader questions which sleep raises, situating these issues in terms of theories of modernity and human nature.
He also recently wrote an article on this research for the American Sociological Association’s Contexts magazine.
This course is designed to equip students with the theoretical and practical skills needed for understanding and managing the complexity of science, media and policy relations. It is based around two core modules (detailed below) alongside the wide range of other MA modules on offer at Warwick. There is also a bursary available for students on the module.
Contact Eric for more information about this or anything else relating to the MSc.
Term One: Understanding Science, Media and Public Policy (delivered by Steve Fuller)
Drawing on resources from history, philosophy and social studies of science, as well as recent social theory, this module will survey and critique various frameworks for conceptualising the relationship between science, media and public policy. Among the topics covered include: science’s public accountability, the role of peer review in authorising scientific knowledge, the comparative demands of scientific and journalistic inquiry, the role of public relations in science, the idea of science as a cultural product, media’s duty to educate, inform and entertain the public about science, scientists as political advisors, actors and advocates, the idea of the citizen-scientist, the role of new media as both information resource and research site for science. Emphasis will be placed on the two-way influence of theory and practice, as well as the challenges posed by the representation of specific types of scientific knowledge in specific media.
Term Two: Researching Science, Media and Public Policy in the 21st Century (delivered by Eric Jensen)
Across many domains of social and professional life, the sciences seek to influence publics through entertainment and news media, education, dialogue and debate. This module will identify the ways in which such attempts to influence or engage public perceptions of the sciences can be investigated through specific case studies. There have been particular flashpoints at the nexus of science, media and public policy in recent years. Controversies over human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, genetically modified crops, alternative medicine, the bioethics of zoos and the climate change agenda each hold important lessons for understanding the role of mass media, stakeholders and citizens in shaping public policy. These cases show how knowledge, power and legitimacy are marshalled in struggles for dominance and consensus over science in the public realm. A sociological account of these cases will be developed to critically assess the processes of public understanding and engagement with science, media coverage and science policy consultation.