Biology 302

BIOL 302
Science, Technology and Society

Catalog Entry

BIOL 302
Science, Technology and Society
Two hours seminar: (2)

Biology 302 provides an introduction to science and technology studies emphasizing the nature of science, the process of discovery, the relationship between science and technology, and the interrelationships between science, technology and society.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The course will use a case study approach. A variety of case studies will be drawn from among the following topics:

1. The Nature of Science
    • Science as a way of knowing about the natural world
    • Science as a social process
    • Scientific institutions and their social roles
2. Scientific Discovery
    • Assumptions
    • Hypothesis formation and testing
    • How theories change
    • Conflict resolution in science
3. Pure and Applied Science
    • The intellectual relationship between science and technology
    • The social relationship between science and technology
4. Science Policy and Government Funding of Science

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be run on a modified seminar format. Lectures will be presented on occasion, but most of the time will be devoted to discussion and other active learning activities.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

By the end of the course students will be expected to accomplish the following goals:
1. Discuss the historical background of selected issues involving science and technology
2. Identify the major positions taken in these controversies
3. Identify the explicit and implicit assumptions underlying these positions
4. Take a position and defend it against potential criticism
5. Discuss the similarities and differences among historical and contemporary cases involving science and society issues

Assessment Measures

Student’s outcomes will be evaluated through a variety of methods, which may include:

2. Short reaction papers written in response to readings, class discussion
3. Class discussion and presentations
4. Journals or other types of informal writing, particularly entries aimed at drawing parallels between historical case studies and issues in the daily news
5. One or more formal papers involving library research

Other Course Information


Review and Approval