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ENVS 5110
Science and Society: An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

Course Requirements and Grading

Purposes and Expectations

Goals: To develop an informed appreciation of the problematic character of the relations between science, technology, and society

Objectives: After taking this course, students should be able

  • to give an account of the development of STS relationships;
  • to give an account of the interdisciplinary STS studies field as a scholarly activity;
  • to compare and contrast different approaches to the analysis of STS relationships; and
  • to critically assess different assumptions (including their own) about relations between science, technology, and society.
General Class Mechanics

The class will be conducted as a proseminar. The general approach will be the reading and discussion of a series of representative and/or influential works in the STS studies field. We are all students of the arguments of the scholars we are reading, and we will all be trying to give their writings the most sympathetic and insightful interpretations we can.

For each class meeting, all students will be required to turn in a brief, one-page response paper on some assigned reading. Additionally, each class will require at least one brief student presentation on an assigned reading. But all students are expected to participate actively in class discussions.

Some kind of publication should come out of this course, most probably a book review.

Grades do not reflect the amount of work or effort put into a course but achievements and results. The instructor’s role is, in part, that of a coach trying to help students improve their performance so that they can earn and deserve good grades.

Grades will be determined on the basis of four factors:

(a) Class participation (including presentations)
(b) Writing assignments
(c) Final exam
(d) Publication

The relative weights of these four factors will be negotiated.

Classroom integrity and intellectual honesty are important issues. Plagiarism is a serious offense that will result in course failure.