2020 Science and Technology for Society B

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Shirabe Masashi 
Course component(s)
Lecture    (ZOOM)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue5-6(H135)  Fri5-6(H135)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
Access Index

Course description and aims

What is social responsibility of scientists? How should society govern science and technology? What should scientists communicate with citizens? Through various cases, I will have participants tackle such problems.
The aims of the course are as follows.
- To foster scientists who consider social impacts of research
- To enhance participants' awareness of various aspects of complex problems

Student learning outcomes

(1) Strengthen ability to study science from various perspectives and in a critical manner
(2) Have basic knowledge and skills to analyze case studies of STS


social responsibility of scientists; scientific rationality; government and science

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Mainly in a lecture style. But, small group discussion in the final section (class 14 and 15).

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction
Class 2 What is things called science? To have a critical perspective on science
Class 3 academic papers and research evaluation To build the habit of challenging subjectivities of numbers
Class 4 Functions of academic papers and scientific misconducts To contemplate the best form of researchers
Class 5 Interface between engineering ethics and science and technology studies To understand context sensitiveness of "ethical behavior"
Class 6 Case study: Minamata disease To understand relation between science and political authority
Class 7 Case study; Itai-itai disease To understand relation between science and political authority
Class 8 Case study: FBR Monju To understand relation between science and government
Class 9 Case study: Trials regarding HIV-contaminated blood products To understand relation between science and government
Class 10 Case study: Winny (P2P File-sharing software) To understand relation between science and government
Class 11 Case study: BSE scare To understand science for risk governance
Class 12 Case study: Treatment of medical waste To understand science for risk governance
Class 13 Case study: Low dose radiation after Fukushima nuclear plant accident To understand science for risk governance
Class 14 Debate: Blood type personality theory To have an opportunity for self-reflection

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Yuko Fujigaki (eds.), Case analysis and theoretical concepts for science and technology studies, University of Tokyo Press (in Japanese)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Hand out materials as needed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Exercise problems (40%) and a final report (60%)

Related courses

  • LAH.T104 : Science and Technology for Society A
  • LAH.T304 : Science and Technology for Society C

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



This lecture is an online lecture (by zoom). Its URL will be sent to your Tokyo Tech e-mail address (m address) by the lecture, so please check your Tokyo Tech address every lecture day's morning. If you are unable to access the classes on time, the URL for recorded lecture will be sent to your e-mail address after the lecture, so you can also check that video.

In addition, depending on your internet environment, it may be difficult to watch videos. In that case, please contact me by email.

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