2020 Essence of Humanities and Social Sciences15:Science and Technology for Society

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Shirabe Masashi 
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Course description and aims

The aims of this course are as follows.
- To foster researchers who consider social impacts of their research activities
- To have an ability to critically think about science

Student learning outcomes

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


social responsibility of researchers; 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 might be introduced.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction
Class 2 Functions of academic papers and scientific misconducts To contemplate the best form of researchers
Class 3 Interface between engineering ethics and science and technology studies To understand context sensitiveness of "ethical behavior"
Class 4 Case study: Minamata disease To understand relation between science and political authority
Class 5 Case study; Itai-itai disease To understand relation between science and political authority
Class 6 Case study: FBR Monju To understand relation between science and government
Class 7 Case study: Low dose radiation after Fukushima nuclear plant accident To understand science for risk governance

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.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Yuko Fujigaki (eds.), Lessons From Fukushima: Japanese Case Studies on Science, Technology and Society, Springer.
Hand out materials as needed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Exercise problems (30%) and a final report (70%)

Related courses

  • LAH.T205 : Science and Technology for Society B

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


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