Science, Technology, and Society in the Modern World

Last Taught: Spring 1997 Time: MWF 2:00-2:50 Location: Adm 412 Credits: 3

Schedule of Readings


Objectives and Expectations

Objectives: This course will examine the relationships among science, technology, and society in the modern world. We will start by using a recent incident in science, the alleged discovery of cold fusion, to study what science and technology are. We will then look at the origins of modern science in the West and the ways it transformed both Japanese and American traditional cultures. Next the course will examine the relationships among science, government, and war during the period before and during World War II. Finally, we will study ways in which science and technology affect the world today. At the end of this course, students should have the following knowledge and skills:

Knowledge:

Skills:

Required Texts (Available at the Bookstore):

Grading

Late Work, Rewrites: Due dates for all assignments will be announced in class! It is your responsibility to know assignments and due dates. 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) journal assignments. Rewrites are due one week after I return the original assignment. You will also have a chance to rewrite midterm exam essays.

Attendance is required. I will take attendance each day, and poor attendance (more than five absences) can hurt your grade. Late students will be counted absent for that day unless they have a good reason.

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: 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 Dishonesty: There are two kinds of academic dishonesty. One kind is when you copy the work of other people, students or authors, and pretend it is your own. I need to know how much YOU are learning in this class, and if you copy someone else's work, I cannot tell how much you understand. For individual assignments, you may not copy from other students, and you may not let other students copy your work. You should use quotations and ideas from written sources to support what you say in written assignments, but quotations should not make up the whole assignment. If you quote from a text, you must state where you found the quotation.

The other kind of academic dishonesty is when you do not do your part in a group assignment. Some of the assignments in this class will require you to work with other people in a group. Each group hands in one assignment, and each member of the group will get the same grade. I expect you to help the group. If you do not, you are getting a grade for doing nothing, and this is academic dishonesty.

How will you know whether an assignment is an individual or a group assignment? In general, exams and quizzes are individual assignments in this class. You must do them by yourself. I will tell you if homework assignments are individual or group assignments. If they are group assignments, you must work on them in your assigned groups. 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 will be given 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.


Schedule of Class Meetings and Reading Assignments Objectives and Expectations Note: Readings and dates are subject to change. For this class, the World Wide Web is not a substitute for attendance!

Date

    Topic

Reading

Jan 20-24

INTRODUCTION

Cold Fusion and the Nature of Modern Science
Stevenson and Byerly, 150-54, 1-5
Jan 27-31
Origins of Western Science
Stevenson and Byerly, 5-10

PART I: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND MODERNIZATION

A. SCIENCE AND THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF AMERICA

Science and Enlightenment in America
Stevenson and Byerly 15-19
Feb 3-7
Science, Technology, and Industry in the United States, 1860-1930: The Electric Industry
Cross and Szostak, 149-55, 163-74, 212-25
Feb 10-14
Science, Technology, and Modern Life in America
Charlie Chaplin, "Modern Times"
Feb 17-21

B. THE MODERNIZATION OF JAPAN

Traditional Knowledge and Western Science in Tokugawa Japan
Morris-Suzuki, ch. 2
The Meiji Restoration and the Search for Western Learning
Morris-Suzuki, ch. 3-4
Feb 24-28
Western Technology and Japanese Industry
Morris-Suzuki, ch. 4-5; Imazu, Kenji, "The Beginning of Electric Engineers in Japan," (on reserve)
Mar 3-7 MIDTERM ASSESSMENT
Mar 10-14 SPRING BREAK
Mar 17-21

PART II: SCIENCE, WAR, AND ETHICS

Modern Warfare, Rules of War, and the Scientist
 
Biological Weapons and Human Experimentation
Powell, "A Hidden Chapter in History," and Tsuneishi, "The Research Guarded by Military Secrecy" (on reserve); Morris-Suzuki, ch. 6
Mar 24-28
The Japanese Atomic Bomb Project
Shapely, "Nuclear Weapons History: Japan's Wartime Bomb Projects Revealed" (on reserve); Morris-Suzuki, ch. 6
The American Atomic Bomb Project
Cross and Szostak, 280-88; Stevenson and Byerly 159-63, 175-90
Mar 31-Apr 2

PART III: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD

A. FUNDING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The United States
Stevenson and Byerly, 133-54
Japan
Morris-Suzuki, ch. 7; Narin and Frame, "The Growth of Japanese Science and Technology" (on reserve)
Apr 7-11

B. NUCLEAR POWER

The United States
Cross and Szostak, 288-90; Hiskes and Hiskes, "Nuclear Power and Social Justice" (on reserve)
Japan
Morris-Suzuki, 229-35
Apr 14-May 1

C. SPECIAL TOPICS 

class presentations
May 5-12

CONCLUSION 

Cross and Szostak, ch 20; Morris-Suzuki, 239-44
May 14 FINAL EXAM, 1:00-3:00  

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