De Anza College Science Environment and Society Discussion Paper

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De Anza College


  1. Response Papers: Each student in the class will write ten typed, double spaced, response papers, 4-5 pages each, throughout the quarter, focusing on the readings from the course but also incorporating ideas from lecture. Structure your response papers like this:
  • Discuss the thesis, arguments, or main points and the evidence the author(s) provide for each reading from the course reader assigned for that week.
  • Make connections: show the relationships between the readings, and/or readings from other weeks, and/or the textbook, and/or class presentations, and/or lecture, and/or other classes you’ve taken.
  • Evaluate the content of the readings (not the style). What, if anything, did you learn? Most of all, how well did the author(s) support their argument?

TEXT: Chapter 17, “Science, the Environment and Society”

Chapter 18, “Collective Action, Social Movements and Social Change”


Chapter 25, “Globalization: An Introduction”

Chapter 26, “Global Strategies for Workers”

Chapter 62, “Climate Denial and the Construction of Innocence”

REQUIRED BOOKS (Available at the College Bookstore)

Conley, Dalton. 2019. You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist.

(6th ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company. [TEXT]

Anderson, Margaret L., Logio, Kim A., and Taylor, Howard F. (eds.). 2015.

Understanding Society: An Introductory Reader (5th ed.). Belmont, CA:

Cengage. [READER]

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Explanation & Answer

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Response Paper
Student’s Name
Institutional Affiliation


Science, the environment and society

The sociology of science focuses on the interactions of science with the environment and
society. Although science adheres to some objective rules, some social aspects such as
government policies, funds, international pressure, and interest groups influence scientific
research choices. When anomalies occur during the practice of normal science, society is likely
to experience paradigm shifts in scientific research (Conley, 2019). Scientific research benefits
society in various ways, for instance, by creating new knowledge or improving the quality of life.
Therefore these scientific facts are constructed socially as researchers debate their results,
disagreements, and findings. Science responds to societal demands by providing solutions for
global challenges and other mysteries of the universe. For sustainable development, society must
understand the science behind biodiversity loss, climate change, and other global challenges.
Since problems cut across the life cycle of technology, scientific research must drive our desire
for sustainable development.
The majority of scientists concur that global warming is influenced by human actions
such as the burning of coal and deforestation. Global warming is perceived to have devastating
effects on the environment, severe droughts, prolonged heat waves, and massive hurricanes.
Because of science, society can develop strict guidelines that enhance the production of organic
foods. Large scale producers of organic foods tend to formulate guidelines that favor their
operations (Conley, 2019). This is because organic farming is expensive, and smaller farmers can
influence market operations. Scientific research has influenced the development of high-yield
crop varieties in many countries. Besides, there is the development of agricultural technologies
such as the use of fertilizers and irrigation methods. Scient...

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