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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Spring 2014-2015
* EGR 277 / SOC 277 / HIS 277 (SA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Technology and Society

Janet A. Vertesi

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
See instructor for complete list

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.

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 - Program in Technology and Society ( and cannot be taken as pdf.


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42659 L01 11:00 am - 11:50 am T Th   McCormick Hall   101   Enrolled:63 Limit:126
42660 P01 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th        Enrolled:19 Limit:23
42664 P02 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm Th        Enrolled:12 Limit:20
42661 P03 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th        Enrolled:11 Limit:20
42662 P04 10:00 am - 10:50 am F   Computer Science Building   102   Enrolled:9 Limit:20
42663 P05 11:00 am - 11:50 am F   Computer Science Building   102   Enrolled:10 Limit:18
42665 P06 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled
42666 P07 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled