Universität Wien FIND

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to courses and exams may be necessary at short notice (e.g. cancellation of on-site teaching and conversion to online exams). Register for courses/exams via u:space, find out about the current status on u:find and on the moodle learning platform.

Further information about on-site teaching and access tests can be found at https://studieren.univie.ac.at/en/info.

Warning! The directory is not yet complete and will be amended until the beginning of the term.

233033 KO Discussion Class Techno-Science and Society (2020S)

Communicating and Interacting

1.00 ECTS (1.00 SWS), SPL 23 - Soziologie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 05.03. 09:15 - 11:15 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien (Kickoff Class)
Thursday 19.03. 09:15 - 11:15 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Thursday 02.04. 09:15 - 11:15 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 28.04. 16:00 - 18:00 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 19.05. 16:00 - 18:00 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 16.06. 16:00 - 18:30 Seminarraum STS, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/6. Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

The aim of this lecture course is to give students an in-depth understanding of the diversity of interaction and engagement processes between techno-science and society, and of challenges relating to these interactions. We will address the multiplicity of settings in which this takes place, investigating the actors involved as well as the processes through which technoscience-society interactions take place. This is a rather broad area of investigation in STS with a long history. Therefore, we will have to select specific areas to cover in more depth.

We start by mapping the central issues at stake and the actors typically involved in technoscience-society interactions. We will then engage with questions of different forms of societal participation in governing technoscientific developments as well as in knowledge making. Next, we will scrutinize the role of values, affect and responsibility when techno-sciences and society engage with each other. This leads us to reflect on the politics of scientific communication and engagement, with a specific focus on governance and future making. It also means looking into issues of who holds expertise and thus power in the public arena when it comes to deciding on techno-scientific orientations, investigating the role science and technologies play in making (national) identities, and studying what responsibilities are involved in science communication and diverse forms of engagement with society. Our journey will then take us to two specific ‘situations’: where science and law come to interact and where data ‘speak for’ society. Finally, we will look at risk and disaster situations and trace how communication and interaction work out there.

Throughout the lecture, students will be introduced to important approaches and concepts that have been developed to address those questions.

Assessment and permitted materials

The discussion class is an extension of the lecture and aims at clarifying and deepening the concepts introduced in class. In smaller groups we will work on concrete cases that are related to each lecture in order to better understand the challenges at stake at the interfaces of science, technology and society.

Each unit of the discussion class will relate to the two previous lectures. In preparation of the discussion class units, students are required to review their notes and the slides of the respective lectures to identify the central concepts used and to prepare three questions they would be interested to deepen through a discussion. Questions can either address the concepts and specific cases/problem zones discussed in the lecture directly or open up broader discussions related to the respective topic - it is also possible to suggest elements such as media articles, video clips, ... to support the discussion in relation to the concepts you want to engage with. Please note that the questions also have to be submitted if the student cannot attend the respective discussion class.

Further, each student will read a book related to a lecture topic and write a book review of 1000-1400 words. The review should not be a chapter-by-chapter description of the book, but rather give the reader a good overall idea of the topic (what is the core problem addressed) and the argument of the book. Try to identify the author’s main thesis or concern and describe how s*he develops it in the book. Describe which central concepts the author uses, how they are defined, and how they are used (e.g. in debating empirical material). Concluding the review, (a) comment on whether the book presents a convincing and well-rounded argument (that is, whether it comprehensively answers the questions it outlines), (b) comment on how the book’s argument relates to the overall topic of the class and (c) give a personal opinion of your reading experience.

Most books are available in the STS library (in their usual alphabetical position), but marked with a special label. Please mind the library’s opening hours and lending regulations.

To pass the discussion class, students are expected to
1. Prepare three questions for each discussion class session (i.e. 5 times); and upload them on Moodle. Please note that the deadlines are varying for each session (see seminar schedule).
2. Participate actively in the in-class discussions
3. Write a book review: the book to review has to be decided by June 7th, 2020 (each book can only be reviewed by one person) and be handed in until September 6th, 2020.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grading of the course is based on the separate assessment of different tasks on a scale of 1-5.

In class participation: 40 %, feedback on request;
Preparing the questions: 30 %, feedback on request;
Book review: 30 %, feedback on request;

Minimum requirements
To successfully complete the course, a weighted average of at least 4,5 is required. Failure to meet the attendance regulations, to deliver course assignments on time or to adhere to standards of academic work may result in a deduction of points.

Formal details for handing in written work
All written work must be uploaded in time to the respective folder on Moodle. All documents must be in pdf format, page numbered, in A4 format and contain the name of the student as well as the description of the assignment.

Attendance
Presence and participation is compulsory in the discussion class and you have to sign an attendance list each time. Be on time because late coming disrupts the discussion. An absence of two hours (= 1 discussion class session) at maximum is tolerated, provided that the teaching assistants are informed about the absence. In case of problems, please contact the teacher. Absences of up to four hours in total may be compensated by either a deduction of points or/and extra-work agreed with the lecturer. Whether compensation is possible is decided by the lecturer and needs written (e-mail) agreement.
Absences of more than four hours in total cannot be compensated. In this case, or if the lecturer does not allow a student to compensate absences of more than two hours, the course can not be completed and is graded as a 'fail' (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfil the attendance requirements on the student’s side (e.g. a longer illness).
In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate this in a timely manner, and to provide relevant evidence to their claims if necessary. Whether this exception applies is decided by the vice-director of studies responsible for the master programme.

Important Grading Information
If not explicitly noted otherwise, all requirements mentioned in the grading scheme and the attendance regulations must be met. If a required task is not fulfilled, e.g. a required assignment is not handed in or if the student does not meet the attendance requirements, this will be considered as a discontinuation of the course. In that case, the course will be graded as ‘fail’ (5), unless there is a major and unpredictable reason for not being able to fulfill the task on the student's side (e.g. a longer illness). In such a case, the student may be de-registered from the course without grading. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate this in a timely manner, and to provide relevant evidence to their claims if necessary. Whether this exception applies is decided by the lecturer.
If any requirement of the course has been fulfilled by fraudulent means, be it for example by cheating at an exam, plagiarizing parts of a written assignment or by faking signatures on an attendance sheet, the student's participation in the course will be discontinued, the entire course will be graded as ‘not assessed’ and will be entered into the electronic exam record as ‘fraudulently obtained’. Self-plagiarism, particularly re-using own work handed in for other courses, will be treated likewise.

Examination topics

Reading list


Association in the course directory

MA HPS: M 1.1, M 1.2, M 1.3

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:21