2013 Inquiry Seminars

Science, Medicine and Society

Matthew Lindholm

In this seminar we investigate the relationship between science, medicine and society. We look at public controversies (for example, on global warming and vaccinations) that challenge the legitimacy of scientific and medical knowledge, asking what scientific reasoning is and why it does not necessarily win in the arena of public debate and political decision-making or in the arena of cultural beliefs and individual decision-making.

We also explore the relationship between health and society, asking how the social organization of modern life both improves and threatens health and well-being on a global scale. Finally in keeping with the core curriculum’s goal of “becoming responsibly engaged in the world,” we ask what kinds of social policies and political strategies could improve the chances of health and life both in the U.S. and abroad. WC