Scientists and engineers increasingly need to be aware of the way research interacts with social factors in different contexts inside and outside of the lab, not least because of the power of the public to shape scientific research through influence on funding policy. This course, taught in English, introduces key issues and theories about relationships between technology, the environment and society. Through lectures and seminar-style discussion, students gain knowledge which can to enable them to understand more deeply the meaning and influence of their own fields in the wider international stage.
Students will learn theories to explain relationships between technology, environment and society. Through case studies and discussion, students will learn how to apply these theories to current research.
1. Introduction to the course - Why "Technology Environment and Society"?
2. Historical Background and Theories (I)
3. Theories (II) - Science and Society (and in-between)
4. Environment as a Global and Socio-technical Issue
5. Social Movements, Agency and Technology
6. Science, Technology, Education and "Discipline"
7. Gender in Science (I) - Place and Environment
8. Gender in Science (II) and review
9. Innovative Health Technologies and Society
10. "You are what you eat" - GMOs and other "Controversies"
11. (Re)Modeling the Environment - Ubiquitous/Pervasive Computing
12. Fringe, Popular and "Pseudoscience"
13. "A tomato has genes?!" The Public and Science Engagement
14. Student Presentations and Discussion
15. Review and Conclusions
There is no assigned textbook, but helpful texts may be recommended during the first two lectures. Readings will be assigned each class with most available electronically.
Students taking this course should have sufficient English ability to join in class group discussions.
Students will be assessed on attendance and participation in class (30%), a presentation (20%) and a final report (50%).
To students: This course gives you an unusual opportunity in Japan to read, learn and discuss in English on important topics of science and society. You will find it challenging, but very rewarding. I look forward to seeing you in class!