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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
* 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 such as innovation and regulation, risk and failure, ethics and expertise. Specific topics covered include nuclear power and disasters, green energy, the development and regulation of the Internet, medical expertise and controversy, intellectual property, the financial crisis, and the electric power grid.

Sample reading list:
Tarleton Gillespie, Copyright, technology, and the agency of users
Kate Crawford and Danah Boyd, Six provocations for big data
James Swaney, Market versus command and control environmental policies
Karen Grief and Jon Merz, Who owns life?
Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students should expect roughly 100 pages of reading a week. A capstone project for the course is spread out over the semester. It requires a short proposal due before the break, a project element due on the last day of class, and the final element due on dean's date.

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

Other Requirements:
Community-Engaged Learning Component Optional

Other information:
This course is required for undergraduate certificate - Program in Technology and Society ( and cannot be taken as pdf.


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
41990 L01 11:00:00 am - 11:50:00 am M W        Enrolled:95 Limit:100
42239 P99 TBA        Enrolled:95 Limit:100