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Course Details

Spring 2010-2011
* EGR 277 / SOC 277 / HIS 277 (SA)  

Technology and Society

Michael D. Gordin

Technology and society are unthinkable without each other - each provides the means and framework in which the other develops. To explore this dynamic, this course investigates a wide array of questions on the interaction between technology, society, politics, and economics, emphasizing the themes of innovation and maturation, systems and regulation, risk and failure, and ethics and expertise. Specific topics covered include nuclear power and waste, genetically-modified organisms, regulation of the internet, medical mistakes, intellectual property, the financial crisis of 2008, and the post-fossil-fuels economy.

Sample reading list:
Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents
Peter Huber and Mark Mills, The Bottomless Well
Robert Crandall, Competition and Chaos
Michael Davis, Thinking Like an Engineer
Michael Ruse and David Castle, Genetically Modified Foods

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students should expect roughly 100 pages of reading a week. There will also be a five-page paper due before midterms, and a final project due on Dean's Date.

Requirements/Grading:
Mid Term Exam - 15%
Final Exam - 25%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%
Other (See Instructor) - 40%

Other information:
Seniors may opt to not take the mid-term. This course is required for undergraduate certificate - PITAS (http://citp.princeton.edu/pitas-overview/) and cannot be taken as pdf.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43441 L01 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm M W   Computer Science Building   104   Enrolled:83 Limit:125
P01 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm W   Friend Center   203   Enrolled:14 Limit:16
P03 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm W   Friend Center   203   Enrolled:14 Limit:16
P04 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th   Friend Center   304   Enrolled:13 Limit:16
P05 7:30 pm - 8:20 pm W   Friend Center   110   Enrolled:12 Limit:16
P07 10:00 am - 10:50 am Th   Friend Center   307   Enrolled:17 Limit:16
P08 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th   Friend Center   304   Enrolled:13 Limit:16