SC210--Science and Technology in Society--Fall 2013
Tuesday, Thursday--Period N and Q (10:50 AM-12:05 PM; 2-3:15 PM)






The Textbook


Course Description


Course Objectives


Course Policies


Grading System


Course Schedule
        

Prof. Thomas A. Easton


Photo of Professor Easton
        
OFFICE: Rm. 108

OFFICE HOURS: 11-2 PM MW, 9:30 AM-10:30 AM TTh

OFFICE PHONE: 859-1331

HOME PHONE: 338-1074

CANCELLATION PHONE NUMBER: 859-1140

Click here to email me:


THE TEXTBOOK

Easton, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Science, Technology, and Society, McGraw-Hill, 10th ed., 2012 (ISBN: 978-0-07-805027-5)


Return to Menu



COURSE DESCRIPTION


This course surveys current issues related to science and technology and their effects on society, focusing on the debates over the issues.

See "Course policies" below for details on testing and grading.


Return to Menu



COURSE OBJECTIVES


After completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Explain the nature of science and technology
  • Explain the sources of technological change
  • Explain the restraints on science and technology in modern society
  • Explain how science and technology affect the conditions of human life


Return to Menu


COURSE POLICIES

Each student may be absent twice without penalty. Each additional two absences without a medical excuse (no others are acceptable) will cost the student three points on the course grade.

We will address the issues in the text one by one. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the issue scheduled for the day. Failure to contribute to the discussion in a way that demonstrates preparation counts as an absence. "Preparation" means at least reading the issue material; excellent preparation will include doing some additional research and reading.

Students will write six 3-5 page papers (see below for schedule) defending one side of an issue and a single larger paper (10-15 pages) on the way society views risks in the context of a particular technology.  Papers MUST be supported by high-quality references (e.g., those available through EBSCO HOST on the library's Web page).

The first six papers will each be worth 10% of the course grade. The seventh paper will be worth 40% of the course grade.

Students who plagiarize essays will receive zeros for the work in question, with no makeup opportunities.

Return to Menu


GRADING SYSTEM



A (94 - 100)      A- (90 - 93)
B+ (87 - 89)     B (83 - 86)    B- (80 - 82)
C+ (77 - 79)     C (73 - 76)     C- (70 - 72)
D+ (67 - 69)     D (63 - 66)    D- (60 - 62)
F (below 60)



Return to Menu


COURSE SCHEDULE

CAUTION: COURSE SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT WARNING!


DATETOPICASSIGNMENT
  
Tuesday Aug 27 Introduction Read the Introduction in text
  
Thursday Aug 29 The scientific methodRead the Introduction in text
  
Tuesday Sept 3 Should the public have to pay to see the results of federally funded research? YESRead Issue 1 in text
Paper #1: Research Issue 1 to find more recent material, and defend one side of the Issue. 
  
Thursday Sept 5 Should the public have to pay to see the results of federally funded research? NO
  
Tuesday Sept 10 Should "Intelligent Design" be taught in public schools? YESRead Issue 2
  
Thursday Sept 12 Should "Intelligent Design" be taught in public schools? NO
  
Tuesday Sept 17 Should the Internet be neutral? YESRead Issue 3
Paper #2: Research Issue 3 to find more recent material, and defend one side of the Issue.
  
Thursday Sept 19 Should the Internet be neutral? NO
  
Tuesday Sept 24 Can "climate engineering" solve global warming? YES Read Issue 4
 
Thursday Sept 26 Can "climate engineering" solve global warming? NO
 
Tuesday Oct 1 Should nuclear power be revived? YESRead Issue 5
Paper #3: Research Issue 5 to find more recent material, and defend one side of the Issue.
  
Thursday Oct 3 Should nuclear power be revived? NO
  
Tuesday Oct 8 Do falling birth rates threaten human welfare? YESRead Issue 7
  
Thursday Oct 10 Do falling birth rates threaten human welfare? NO
  
Tuesday Oct 15 NO CLASS--COLUMBUS DAY
  
Thursday Oct 17 Can infectious animal diseases be studied safely in Kansas? YESRead Issue 10
Paper #4: Research Issue 10 to find more recent material, and defend one side of the Issue.
  
Tuesday Oct 22 Can infectious animal diseases be studied safely in Kansas? NO
  
Thursday Oct 24 Do cell phones cause cancer? YESRead Issue 8
  
Tuesday Oct 29 Do cell phones cause cancer? NO  
  
Thursday Oct 31 Should DDT be banned worldwide? YES Read Issue 9
Paper #5: Research Issue 9 to find more recent material, and defend one side of the Issue.
  
Tuesday Nov 5 Should DDT be banned worldwide? NO
  
Thursday Nov 7 Are genetically modified foods safe to eat? YES Read Issue 11
 
Tuesday Nov 12 Are genetically modified foods safe to eat? NO
 
Thursday Nov 14 Are we doing enough to protect Earth from asteroid impacts? YESRead Issue 12
Paper #6: Research Issue 12 to find more recent material, and defend one side of the Issue. 
  
Tuesday Nov 19 Are we doing enough to protect Earth from asteroid impacts? NO
     
Thursday Nov 21 Can computers be conscious? YES Read Issue 15
  
Tuesday Nov 26 Can computers be conscious? NO Start working on your final paper NOW! Choose a specific technology and use it to discuss how society views and deals with risks in the context of this technology. 10-15 pages, and don't forget the need for references.
     
Wed Nov 27 -- Fri Nov 29 THANKSGIVING VACATION
  
Tuesday Dec 3 Are animal rights activists terrorists? Read Issue 18
  
Thursday Dec 5 Should we reject transhumanism? Read Issue 19
  
Monday Dec 9 FINAL EXAMS BEGIN
  




Syllabus last modified August 20, 2013