Foundations of Environmental Sciences III
Critical Issues in Science, Technology, and Society
This course addresses the complex interactions of scientific knowledge, technological systems and the social world from social sciences perspectives. It explores in particular the impacts and control of science and technology, with focus on the risks, benefits and opportunities that S&T may pose to peace, security, community, democracy, environmental sustainability, and human values. Working with case studies, students examine recent developments in the regulation of science and technology (first part) as well as the incorporation of science into policymaking and regulatory processes (second part). In so doing, they discuss various issues of concern and address questions such as: how should states set priorities for research funding; who should participate, and how, in technological decision-making; should life forms be patented; how should societies measure risks and set safety standards; how should experts communicate the reasons for their judgments to the public?