2018 Transdisciplinary studies 9:Science, Technology and Society:Basic

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Nakajima Hideto  Shirabe Masashi  Arimoto Tateo  Ishida Hideki  Shibata Kiyoshi  Hirakawa Hideyuki 
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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.
This course is to study examples of problems among science, technology, and society, and past solutions to them in order to tackle these problems.

Student learning outcomes

Students should learn to be able to have multiple perspectives to understand problems among science, technology and society, in order to cope with new problems.


science, technology, society

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

First, lecturers give a 60 minute talk, then students are expected to join the discussion. At the end of each class, students create comment sheets.
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 What is techno-science? Understanding what techno-science is.
Class 2 The Beginning of engineering Understanding the historical formation of engineering
Class 3 Participation to techno-science Possibility of citizen participation in techno-science
Class 4 What is innovation? Exact understanding of the term Innovation by Schumpeter
Class 5 LCA and society To learn to analyse artifacts in life cycle.
Class 6 Science and technology in society in Japan History of Japanese science policy, and policy for the future
Class 7 Nature technology Understanding concepts like bio-mimicry
Class 8 The future of STS Wrap up and how to prepare your term paper


Hideto Nakajima, Technology Studies for Engineers, Minerva Pub (In Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Please see the reference books in the textbook above.

Assessment criteria and methods

Term paper 50%, comment sheet 50% 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 relevant class.

Related courses

  • LAH.T103 : History of Technology A
  • LAH.S416 : Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences16:History of Technology

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

Enthusiasm to the lecture

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