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Social Aspects of Science and Technology

The new field of science, technology and society investigates the ramifications of scientific and technological developments on society and culture, on the one hand, and the ways in which cultural perceptions, religious beliefs, social structures, and ideologies direct and constitute science and technology, on the other. For example, one might inquire into the emergence of religious beliefs, attitudes, and ethical principles, locally and around the world, and how these attitudes and principles have, in turn, shaped science and technology. Another area of inquiry at the science–technology–society nexus is the tri-directional interrelationship between beliefs and perceptions regarding gender, race, and ethnicity, on the one hand, and science and technology, on the other. For example, the field of gender medicine examines the medical significances of the biological and social differences between men and women, males and females. Critical studies have focused on the (negative) impact of a society’s deeply rooted gender–race–ethnicity perceptions on science and medicine; and on the ethical implications for science of whether and how it shares in social perceptions regarding gender–race–ethnicity.