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Science and Technology PolicY
ENVS 5100

Overview and Purpose of the Course

This course is part of a three course sequence that serves in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Policy. However, you need not be enrolled in the Certificate to take the course. There are no prerequisites required to take the course, other than graduate student status and curiosity about science, technology and policy.

Graduate study provides you with an opportunity to gain expertise within a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary specialty.  Such expertise is essential to the processes of creating new knowledge and integrating existing knowledge to produce novel insights. But society looks increasingly to experts to do more than conduct research and produce knowledge -- society looks to experts to play a central role in securing the benefits of the nation’s investment in knowledge, while at the same time, helping to protect against the misuse or unintended consequences of science and technology.  In short, society expects experts to contribute to decision making in public, private and civic settings.

Understanding the roles of science and technology in broader societal context – as well as the influences of that context on the practices and uses of science and technology would thus seem to be a prerequisite to a successful career at the science-society interface.

This course seeks to contribute to such improved understandings by introducing students to the area of research and practice typically characterized as “science and technology policy.” In 2015, this course will focus on two areas of this vast academic landscape. The first half of the course will focus on science in policy and politics. The second half of the course will focus on the role(s) of science and technology in economic growth.