This field encompasses studies of those sciences and technologies that concern living organisms. Psychology, medicine and the life sciences have long been rich domains of inquiry for historians and philosophers, and have more recently become preoccupations for sociologists and anthropologists of science and technology.
Scholars in this domain eschew the assumption that biological studies simply reveal the molecular or physiological workings of living entities and collectives; instead, they are produced in particular social, temporal and instrumental contexts. Embedded in the facts and artifacts of the biological sciences are linguistic and pictorial representations, pedagogical conventions, material constraints, moral anxieties and social hierarchies.
Courses in this field may explore, for example, the geopolitical significance of epidemics, the use of model organisms as instruments of investigation, or the specific ways in which the ambiguous concept of life is made visible, legible and tangible in the biological sciences.