GER 205: Science and Technology
John I. Brooks III, Ph.D, Instructor

Last Taught: Spring 1998

Time: MWF 11:00-11:50

Location: Lib 210

Credits: 3

Schedule of Readings | Assignments | Brooks Home Page

Note: The official syllabus for this class is this web site, NOT any printed version. The general objectives and expectations described below will not change during the term. However, specific readings and due dates may vary. Any changes will be posted, and students are responsible for visiting the site frequently to make sure they have the most current information.

Objectives and Expectations Objectives: This course will examine the relationships among science, technology, and society (STS) in the modern world. We will start by looking at some of the general issues in STS: the nature of science and technology; the institutional contexts of scientific and technological production; the effects of modern science and technology on work, leisure, and health; race, gender, and class issues in science and technology; and the interactions among science, technology, and culture. We will then look at a series of case studies to explore these issues in greater depth, concluding with reflections and readings on the role of science and technology in an increasingly global and interdependent world. At the end of this course, students should have the following knowledge and skills:



Required Texts (Available at the Bookstore):

Grading and Assignments

The major assignments are listed below. See the links to the Assignments page for details and due dates.

Late Work, Rewrites: All work for this course must be turned in on the announced dates. Because due dates will be posted on this web site, missing class is not an excuse for not knowing the due date. Late work will be penalized one letter grade unless you have a good excuse, and no assignments will be accepted more than one week late. You may rewrite up to three (3) assignments. Rewrites are due one week after I return the original assignment.

Attendance is required. I will take attendance each day, and poor attendance (more than four absences) can hurt your grade. Good attendance includes being on time. Being late twice counts as one absence.

Preparation: You should complete assigned readings before class. If you have questions about the readings, you should write them down and ask me to explain during class. You should take notes on the readings and on class lectures. I reserve the right to give unannounced quizzes to test whether students are doing the readings.

Participation: You are at Teikyo Loretto Heights in part to learn English and in part to receive an American-style education. For these reasons, I will ask you questions in class, and I encourage you to ask me questions. Students who participate by asking questions and contributing to discussions will be rewarded. One way to do this is to write down a question before class and ask me the question during class, as mentioned above under "Preparation."

Academic Honesty: In this class, some assignments will be individual, and some will be group. For individual assignments, academic honesty means doing your own work. You may not copy from other students, and you may not let other students copy your work. For group assignments, on the other hand, academic honesty means contributing to the work of the group. If you do not, you are getting credit for work you didn't do.

For all assignments, you should use quotations and ideas from sources to support what you say. If you quote or use specific information from a text, you must tell me where you found it-that is, you must CITE YOUR SOURCES. If I find you guilty of academic dishonesty, you will have to rewrite the assignment. The second time, you will fail the assignment, with no chance for a rewrite. The third time you will fail the course.

Incompletes: I give an incomplete only if a student is unable for good reasons to complete a small portion of the assignments for a course. Good reasons include illness or accident; generally speaking, too much work in other courses is not a good reason. I will not give an incomplete simply because a student is afraid of getting a low grade.

Computers: Every student in this class has an IBM-compatible laptop computer with Windows95, Microsoft Office, Netscape, and network capability. I expect students to bring their computers to class and use them to take notes, get and turn in assignments, share files for group projects, and search the Internet for relevant information. Classnotes and assignments will be available from the web site and the network server at Shared Student/STS.

Schedule of Class Meetings and Readings Objectives and Expectations | Assignments Note: Because this is a new course, this schedule is subject to change! Check the web site frequently.




Jan 19-23 Introductory Case Study: Hot Fusion, Cold Fusion, Con-Fusion The World of Fusion; Cold Fusion Times; Stevenson and Byerly 150-54 (handout)
Jan 26-30 Introductory Case Study (continued)  
Feb 2-6 Science, Pseudo-Science, and Alternative Science: The Case of Acupuncture Stevenson and Byerly 1-5 (handout); Allchin, "Western Science, Pain and Acupuncture" (handout); Acupuncture History
Feb 9-13 What to do when the experts disagree? The debate over global warming. Easton 128-49; Pace Energy Project Global Warming Central; Kyoto and the Global Environment--Global Warming
Feb 16-20 The Ethics of Experimentation I: The Use of Animals Easton 301-21; Animal Liberation Front Frequently Asked Questions
Feb 23-27 The Ethics of Experimentation II: The Use of Humans Easton 322-37; DRAFT DOE "Generic" Informed Consent ; Timeline: A Brief History of AIDS/HIV. ĘGIS ; HIV Plain and Simple ; AIDS - HIV - ĘGIS ; DOE Openness: Human Radiation Experiments
Mar 2-6 Science and Politics: Should government set goals for science? Easton 1-25; handouts; U.S. Government Agencies; Japanese Government Agencies; The Science and Technology Resources of Japan: A Comparison with the United States
Mar 9-13 Midterm Assessment  
Mar 16-20 Spring Break: no classes!  
Mar 23-27 Discussion of Web Topics  
Mar 30-Apr 3 Computers I: The Age of Information The History of Computing; The Charles Babbage Institute; The Obsolete Computer Museum; Michelle Hoyle, "Computers: From the Past to the Present"
Apr 3 Teikyo Founder's Day: No Class  
Apr 6-17 Computers II: Can they think? Easton 210-34; An example of a Turing Test; Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute; Other Robotics Labs; MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; Microsoft AI Resources Page; Searle's Chinese Room Argument
Apr 20-24 Computers III: Do they benefit society? Easton 70-86
Apr 27-May 1 Presentation of web sites  
May 4-8 Presentation of web sites  
May 11-15 Final Assessment  

Objectives and Expectations | Schedule of Readings | Assignments | Teaching | Home

Last Update: April 20, 1998