Casual Layered Analysis as Pedagogy in Studies of Science and Technology

by David Turnbull


Science and technology embody a number of key metaphors and at least one central myth, one that was articulated by a founder and champion of scientific method, Francis Bacon. Through the dissection and reconstruction of nature, a new technologically improved nature will be the inevitable result. Causal Layered Analysis (CLA) opens a pathway for students to understand how such a myth came into being and take hold, not so much as a matter of public imagination or belief, but as an unconscious, continuing commitment to science. CLA as pedagogy is not directed towards to establishing the truth or falsity of Baconian propositions, or to proselytise for another version of science or an alternative belief system, but rather to enable students to examine the pervasiveness of such underlying myths in contemporary technological settings (for example the classroom), and to create a critical distance from which to engage with science as myth rather than as a set of unquestionable and therefore unthought assumptions. The project is to create a bridge between the sciences and the humanities, a place where dialogue might occur.

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