Science, Technology and Society Seminar: STS Circle at Harvard (via Zoom)


Monday, April 26, 2021, 12:15pm to 1:30pm


Online Only

"Sociological Ambivalence Revisited"

Attend this event via Zoom (advance registration required)


Ed Hackett, Professor Emeritus, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University.


Paul Sherman

Co-sponsored by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University.

This event is online only. Please click the "Read More" link for full instructions on how to attend this seminar.


Sheila JasanoffFaculty Associate. Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School.

Remote Access Information:

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Please note: This event requires registration in advance in order to receive the meeting link and password.


Ambivalence arises when roughly equal forces pull a person in opposite directions.  Robert K. Merton set this psychological concept in sociological context, using it to describe incompatible expectations imposed upon particular positions in society.  Merton was particularly intrigued by the ambivalence of scientists who were, for example, torn between expressing humility and claiming recognition for discoveries.  Important as that might be, ambivalence appears to play a more important role in science.  This brief talk uses peer review and collaboration as strategic research sites to explore the role of sociological ambivalence in science.

Speaker Bio:

Ed Hackett is professor emeritus in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University and editor of Science, Technology & Human Values.  His research explores the social organization and dynamics of scientific collaboration and has been published in American Sociological ReviewResearch PolicySocial Studies of Science, and other journals.  He has been a division director and program officer at the National Science Foundation, vice provost for research at Brandeis University, and lead editor of the Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (3rd ed.).