2016 Transdisciplinary studies 4:Modern Science: Technology and Safety

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Kuwata Shigeki  Fudano Jun  Bektas Yakup  Obara Toru  Kasai Kazuhiko  Kudo Fumitaka    Tsukagoshi Youji  Tateno Hiroaki  Nakahara Masahiro   
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Media-enhanced courses
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Course description and aims

This course is designed and delivered to cultivate the following abilities, attributes, and perspectives which are appropriate and required for those students who study at one of the top leading comprehensive universities of science and technology in Japan.
By the completion of this course, the students will have
1) the ability to recognize and explain the nature and broadening scope of certain fields and/or disciplines in science and engineering,
2) the ability to examine the ELSI (Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications/Influences) of those fields and/or disciplines and what role they should play in society and for society,
3) the attitude to seek the broad and transdisciplinary perspectives on science and engineering, and
4) the ability to develop an attitude to examine one's own field of study with a multi-dimensional framework.
This course is designed, developed, and offered jointly by the respective School and the Institute for Liberal Arts.

Science and technology are one of the sources of the affluence in modern society. Its influence on the society simultaneously becomes enormous and the resulting risks also become larger. In this class, various kinds of risks and the risk avoidance are introduced in various fields of science and technology. Lecturers in various specialized fields will talk in the class.

The aim of this course is to understand what kinds of risks exist in the various fields of science and technology, and to understand the risk avoidance.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1) Explain examples for risks in various kinds of scientific and technological fields
2) Explain examples for risk avoidance in various kinds of scientific and technological fields.


Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, ELSI (Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications), Safety

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

As with all other courses in this category (400 Transdisciplinary Course), this course is offered in the "Active Learning" mode which requires students to take an active role in their own learning. Therefore, students are required to submit a summary report at the end of each session. (In case you are not able to attend a class, you should inform the instructor of your reason for absence in advance.) Class attendance is required and taken into account for grades.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Guidance and introduction summary report
Class 2 Safety of chemical plants summary report
Class 3 Safety of nuclear power system I. The concept of nuclear safety summary report
Class 4 Safety of nuclear power system II. Safety of radioactive waste disposal. summary report
Class 5 Aircraft safety and social systems. summary report
Class 6 Chemicals and safety summary report
Class 7 Science and technology and food safety summary report
Class 8 History of phytotoxicity and contemporary challenges summary report


None required.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Course materials are posted on OCW-i and/or provided during the classes.

Assessment criteria and methods

For the credits of this course, as with all other courses in this category (400 Transdisciplinary Course), students must submit an original paper which addresses "the nature and scope" of a given field/discipline and its "societal role." An important part of the assessment is based on the quality of the paper. The instructor will explain details of the requirements for the paper in the first class meeting.

Related courses

  • CHM.A201 : Chemistry for Safety
  • NCL.F454 : Safety and Regional Symbiosis for Nuclear Energy
  • LAS.E101 : Environment and Safety
  • ZSK.D430 : Human Safety Engineering
  • MEC.C434 : Sciences of Structural Safety and User's Security

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Not required.

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