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Science and its Discontents: Anti-Science Activism for Nanotechnology, GMOs, Fracking, and the Large Hadron Collider

Do you like technologies but sometimes wonder about their long-term risks? Do you wonder what kind of sci-fi techno-future is in store for you, your family, and your friends? If you answered “yes” (or “no” or “maybe”) to these questions then this project is for you!

I am a PhD candidate in the sociology department looking for motivated and reliable undergraduate research assistants who would like to collect and analyze data about the impact of science on society. Candidates need not be sociology majors but should have some familiarity with methods in sociology or psychology. You do not need to have any kind of science background. Although an interest in science will probably make this much more fun. Research assistants will gain experience in qualitative, historical and/or advanced computing research methods according to the following tasks, the choice of which is largely up to the assistant:

1. Gathering online data to construct the funding and regulatory field related to nanotechnology and genetically modified foods (GMOs) in both the United States and United Kingdom (what detectives call “following the money”);

2. Qualitative content-coding of written and spoken text using Atlas-TI or Dedoose coding software (software licenses provided for your own private use);

3. Face-to-face interviewing either in person or via Skype. This will also likely not begin until Spring/Summer 2014 at the earliest.

Hands-on training will be provided for all tasks. No other prior experience is necessary.

I am hoping for students who can commit to the Winter 2014 and Fall 2014 terms although this is not required. The Spring/Summer half terms are also a possiblity but this is up to the assistant. The Winter term will largely be dedicated to collecting data with data analysis — including the above-mentioned skills, training and interviews — beginning towards the end of the Winter term. Candidates may take this course for 1-3 credit hours. If you're interested then please take this short survey at:

Contact: Matthew Sullivan
Faculty Advisor: Renee Anspach