Course Information

Fall/Winter 2017-2018

Note: Many of the courses listed below are cross-listed. A cross-listed course is offered jointly by teaching units in two or more Faculties. For further details about the cross-listing of a particular course, click the Course Information link for that course.

Session Course Code Cross-Listing Course Title Course Information Instructor
W18 SC/STS 2010 3.00 M AP/HIST 2810 3.00 History of Modern Science Course Information TBA
W18 SC/STS 2210 3.00 M Technology in the Modern World Course Information TBA
F17 SC/STS 2411 3.00 A AP/HUMA 2411 3.00 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies Course Information Daniela Monaldi
F17 SC/STS 3226 3.00 A AP/HUMA 3226 3.00 Representations of Nature: Cultural and Historical Perspectives Course Information Joan Steigerwald
F17 SC/STS 3500 3.00 A AP/SOSC 3500 3.00 The Global Information Society Course Information Vera Pavri
F17 SC/STS 3561 3.00 A AP/SOSC 3561 3.00 History of Computing and Information Technology Course Information Bernhard Isopp
F17 SC/STS 3600 3.00 A Technological Failure Course Information Angela Cope
F17 SC/STS 3725 3.00 A Science and Exploration Course Information Michael Wintroub
W18 SC/STS 3726 3.00 M AP/SOSC 3726 3.00 Technology, Experts and Society Course Information Hélène Mialet
F17 SC/STS 3740 3.00 A Life Sciences in Modern Society Course Information James Elwick
W18 SC/STS 3760 3.00 M Nature, Knowledge and New Worlds, 1500-1800 Course Information Ernst Hamm
W18 SC/STS 3775 3.00 M Physics in the 20th Century Course Information Daniela Monaldi
F17 SC/STS 3780 3.00 A Biomedical Science in Social & Historical Context Course Information Kenton Kroker
W18 SC/STS 3790 3.00 M Science and Technology Issues in Global Development Course Information TBA
F17 SC/STS 3970 3.00 A AP/HUMA 3970 3.00 Science and Gender in Modern Western Culture Course Information Daniela Monaldi
W18 SC/STS 3975 3.00 A AP/HUMA 3975 3.00 Science and Religion in Modern Western Culture Course Information Bernard V Lightman
W18 SC/STS 4228 3.00 M AP/HUMA 4228 3.00 Nature in Narrative Course Information Joan Steigerwald
W18 SC/STS 4230 3.00 M AP/HUMA 4230 3.00 Informational Identities: The Self in the Age of Technology Course Information Hélène Mialet
Y17/18 SC/STS 4501 6.00 A Seminar in Science and Technology Studies Course Information Jill Lazenby
Y17/18 SC/STS 4560 6.00 A AP/ANTH 4560 6.00 The Anthropology of Science and Technology Course Information Natasha Myers
F17 SC/STS 4700 3.00 A Independent Research in Science and Technology Studies Course Information Permission of STS Dept. Chair needed
W18 SC/STS 4700 3.00 M Independent Research in Science and Technology Studies Course Information Permission of STS Dept. Chair needed
Y17/18 SC/STS 4700 6.00 A Independent Research in Science and Technology Studies Course Information Permission of STS Dept. Chair needed
Y17/18 SC/STS 4710 6.00 A Honours Thesis in Science and Technology Studies Course Information Permission of STS Dept. Chair needed
W18 SC/STS 4780 3.00 M AP/HIST 4088 3.00 Epidemics and the Modern World: Local, National & Global Configurations of Disease Course Information Kenton Kroker
F17 SC/STS 4785 3.00 A Science, Health and Food Course Information Benjamin Mitchell

SC/STS 2010 3.00 History of Modern Science

This course explores some of the central issues and theories in the history of physical and life sciences since the Renaissance. The focus is on the institutional trends and changing conceptual frameworks as they related to larger societal change.

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • AK/HIST 2120 6.00
  • AK/ STS 2010 6.00
  • SC/ STS 2010 6.00
  • AP/ HIST 2810 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 2110 3.00 Truth, Theory and Superstition

There are diverse views on how to improve one's understanding of research, even in the case of established natural or social sciences. This course investigates theories of scientific methodology that illustrate the conflict between truth and superstition.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AP/PHIL 2110 3.00 (prior to Fall 2012)
  • PRIOR TO FALL 2009: exclusions: AK/AS/PHIL 2110 3.00

Cross Listings

AP/PHIL 2110 3.0

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SC/STS 2210 3.00 Technology in the Modern World

This course examines the critical interconnections among technology, politics, culture, the arts, the sciences and social life. Specific topics will vary from year to year, covering social and historical contexts that may include Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia between 1500 and the present.

Prerequisites

Not Available

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 3700A 6.00
  • AK/STS 3700 6.00
  • SC/STS 3700 6.0
  • AP/HUMA 3700 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 2411 3.00 Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies. Using case studies it considers how knowledge about science and technology develops. It analyses the social responsibility of the scientist and the public engagement with technoscientific expertise.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • SC/STS 2411 6.00
  • AP/HUMA 2411 6.00

Cross Listings

AP/HUMA 2411 3.0 (formerly AS/HUMA 2411)

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SC/STS 3226 3.00 Representations of Nature: Cultural and Historical Perspectives

This course examines the techniques of visual representations in science, analyzing the historical and cultural contexts of specific practices of representation.

The course fosters critical reflection upon how visual representations of nature affect our understanding of nature. Its philosophical focus is the notion of representation, as a crucial common link between scientific, artistic and cultural visual practices. It addresses questions on the nature and role of visual representations in science and culture, including what counts as objective or accurate representation. The course also analyzes the technological and material conditions of visualization. It examines how various technologies, from scientific instruments to practices of cultural image making, shape our perceptions and conceptions of nature. In science, visual representations are used to depict and communicate understandings of nature. Visualization techniques also assist scientists in making sense of natural phenomena, by making non-visible processes manifest and by offering material forms in which to imagine and conceive natural processes. But imaging practices also operate widely in culture as means for depicting and shaping understandings of natural phenomena. The course explores how phenomena are constructed in the process of representing them, and how the products thus made manifest are artifacts as well as natural entities. It considers how through particular modes of representation, informed by historically and culturally specific contexts, nature is reconceived.

Readings include theoretical works as well as case studies. They are drawn from a diversity of fields – science and technology studies, cultural studies, anthropology, art history and environmental studies.

Course Director: Joan Steigerwald

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • AP/HUMA 4226 3.00 (prior to Fall 2009)
  • AS/HUMA 4225A 6.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2003-2004)
  • AS/HUMA 4226 6.00

Cross Listings

AP/HUMA 3226 3.00

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SC/STS 3500 3.00 The Global Information Society

This course examines current national information societies and their possible transformation into a global information society by analyzing the interplay between the causes for the globalization of information and communication technologies, as well as the societal impact of these technologies.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 3500 3.0

Cross Listings

AP/SOSC 3500 3.0 (formerly AS/SOSC 3500)

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SC/STS 3561 3.00 History of Computing and Information Technology

This course examines the evolution of computing and information technology in a broad social, cultural, and historical context, with special emphasis on developments since the early 20th century.

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 3700B 3.00
  • AK/STS 3700B 6.00
  • AK/STS 3710 3.00
  • AK/STS 3710 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3600 3.00 Technological Failure

This course challenges our common understandings of why technologies fail. Using approaches drawn from history, sociology and philosophy of technology, it critically examines the complex relationships between human action, the social contexts of knowledge and the proper functioning of machines.

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 3600 6.00
  • SC/STS 3600 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3725 3.00 Science and Exploration

Science & Exploration: In this class, we will investigate journeys to other worlds and back again. “Exploration,” as we shall see, is of little interest if we don’t also take in account the closing of the circle of travel; indeed, it is this back and forth – the venturing out and the return back-- that is the essence of “Science.”  We will thus follow naturalists, scientists, astronauts and adventurers as they explore their own bodies, the micro-worlds of bacteria and single-celled organisms, faraway islands and distant jungles, lands with marvelous wonders and strange beings, ice-flows and tributaries of “northwest passages,” and the vast emptiness of outer space.  We will simultaneously attempt to understand how journeys out, were accompanied by journeys in—through strategies of writing and inscription, the making of durable instruments, resistant bodies and vessels capable of surviving the rigors of difficult journeys back and forth across great (real and metaphorical) distances.  We will read about Francis Bacon, Christopher Columbus, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and Captain James Cook, as well as modern astronauts, early modern colonists, native informants, heroic botanists, greedy merchants, curious travelers, colonial administrators, and men and women capable of transforming their own bodies into probes and instruments that could register, transport and commodify knowledge of the unknown.

Course Director: Prof Michael Wintroub (UC Berkeley)

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • SC/STS 3725 6.00.

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3726 3.00 Technology, Experts, and Society

A critical examination of the introduction and adoption of new technologies and the rise of expert knowledge. Specific historical examples of modern technologies will be considered in order to explore the relationship between society and technology.

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 2700 3.0
  • SC/STS 2700 3.0
  • AS/SOSC 2700 3.0

Cross Listings

AP/SOSC 3726 3.0

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SC/STS 3730 3.00 Science, Technology, and Modern Warfare

Explores the interplay between warfare, scientific development, and technological change in a broad societal context through a series of representative case-studies from the past and the present. Enhances students' understanding of some of the main forces that shape our world.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • SC/STS 3730 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3740 3.00 Life Sciences in Modern Society

The emergence of professional biology is explored through examination of conflicting views of the role of natural history in the development of the specialized life sciences.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

None

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3760 3.00 Nature, Knowledge and New Worlds, 1500-1800

An in-depth examination of the cultural, social, technological and intellectual context of a formative period in the history of modern science.

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • AK/HIST 3810 6.0
  • AK/HIST 3570 6.00
  • AP/HUMA 3760 6.00
  • AK/STS 3760 6.00
  • SC/STS 3760 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3775 3.00 Physics in the 20th Century

This course examines both the philosophical questions raised by historical developments in modern physics and historical-scientific questions raised by philosophical inquiry. Note: No background in physics required. Readings include scientific, historical and philosophical texts.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

None

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3780 3.00 Biomedical Science in Social & Historical Context

Biomedicine as we know it today is the product of some radical transformations that have taken place over the past 200 years. Health is no longer the absence of disease. It is something we achieve through the routine maintenance and even enhancement of our bodies (and our minds). Disease is not the opposite of health, but a threshold value along a continuum of physiological measures. Health has also become a property of populations, described as being "at risk" for disease and requiring the mass interventions of "public health." In the absence of symptoms or pain, we can still imagine our bodies as diseased through an array of visual technologies. But disease can also be so small as to be invisible (bacteria, viruses, genomes, immune complexes), or so large as to be unimaginable (climates, environments, exposures). Once a craft-like and intuitive art, medical practice has become a technologized and highly specialized applied science. The shameful quest for "racial improvement" through eugenics has been abandoned, even as it has become more and more routine for individuals to imagine disease as an integral component of their social and political identities. Pitched political battles are fought over whether and how the state and the market should provide health for citizens and consumers.

This course will examine some of the historical origins of those changes, and look at how they have come to shape current biomedical practices. Students will be evaluated through a class presentation, two written assignments, and a final in-class exam. The course will also feature a field trip to a local health facility or museum.

Prerequisites

Completion of 24 credits

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 3780 6.00
  • AP/SOSC 3780 6.00
  • SC/STS 3780 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3790 3.00 Science and Technology Issues in Global Development

This course criticaly examines the role of science and technology in developing areas of the globe in general, with particular emphasis on enviromental and health effects.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

None

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 3970 6.00 Science and Gender in Modern Western Culture

This course analyzes the gendered nature of modern Western scientific culture. It draws on literary, historical, and philosophical sources, films, and contemporary feminist writings.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AP/HUMA 3970 6.00
  • PRIOR TO FALL 2009 exclusion: AS/HUMA 3970 6.00

Cross Listings

AP/HUMA 3970 3.0

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SC/STS 3975 3.00 Science and Religion in Modern Western Culture

Examination of the relationship between science and religion through a study of the implications of the following intellectual developments for religious thought: the rise and triumph of Newtonian science, the Darwinian revolution, relativity theory, quantum physics, "big bang" theory, and creationism.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AP/HUMA 3975 6.00
  • SC/STS 3975 3.00
  • PRIOR TO FALL 2009 exclusions: AS/HUMA 3500H 6.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2000-2001), AS/HUMA 3975 3.00, AS/HUMA 3975 6.00 and SC/STS 3.00.

Cross Listings

AP/HUMA 3975 3.0

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SC/STS 4227 6.00 Minds and Matters in Victorian Culture

Through a reading of the contemporary scientific literature on materialism, the mind and the economy, this course examines Victorian debates on science and its application to pressing moral and social problems.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AP/HUMA 4227 6.00
  • PRIOR TO FALL 2009 exclusions: AS/HUMA 4225B 6.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2003-2004),
  • AS/HUMA 4227 6.00 (prior to fall 2009)

Cross Listings

  • AP/HUMA 4227 3.00
  • AP/HIST 4087 3.00

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SC/STS 4228 3.00 Nature in Narrative

This course explores narratives of nature in both literary and scientific texts. In the course, we examine how figures and understandings of nature are developed in and through literary forms—from novels and plays to essays and short stories. In some of the literary texts studied, ideas from science are employed as central metaphors or themes. A couple of the texts in the course are scientific works—works written to be accessible to a non-scientific audience—that are read for their use of literary forms, such as metaphors and rhetorical techniques, to enrich their narratives, to ease the comprehension of scientific ideas, and to persuade readers of the theories put forward. Students are encouraged to read all the texts in the course as narratives, as stories or points of view of the natural world or human nature, even the scientific works. Most of the texts in the course self-consciously play with their character as narrative, several presenting alternative versions of the story being told from contrasting viewpoints. This emphasis on the narrativity or literary forms of texts encourages us to reflect on the constructed character of all our narratives of nature, whether literary or scientific. But the course also asks how narratives can provide true accounts of our world, and examines the place of nature in the narratives shapes their truth value.

ASSIGNMENTS: Participation 15%; Presentation 15%; Notes on Readings (20%); Research Paper Proposal (15%); Research Paper (35%).

REPRESENTATIVE READINGS: Barry Lopez (1981), Winter count; Yann Martel (2001), Life of Pi; Charles Darwin (1859) The origin of species; Michael Frayn (2000), Copenhagen; William Cronon (1992), “A place for stories: Nature, history, and narrative;” Michael Pollan (2001), The botany of desire.

Course Director: Joan Steigerwald

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AS/HUMA 4225C 6.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2003-2004)
  • AS/HUMA 4228 6.00 (prior to Fall 2009)

Cross Listings

AP/HUMA 4228 3.00

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SC/STS 4230 3.00 Informational Identities: The Self in the Age of Technology

This course examines the effects of technologies of information and communication upon the construction and functioning of a personal identity. The course also examines the cultural, political, psychological and spiritual dimensions of recent changes in the nature of personal identity.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AP/HUMA 4230 6.00
  • Prior to Fall 2009: AS/HUMA 4225E 6.00; AS/HUMA 4230 6.00

Cross Listings

AP/HUMA 4230 3.00

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SC/STS 4501 6.00 Seminar in Science & Technology Studies

This seminar builds upon students' existing skills in science and technology studies. It will familiarize students with central themes in this interdisciplinary field that have emerged from efforts in history, philosophy, and social studies of science and technology.

Prerequisites

Completion of STS 2411 3.0 or STS 2411 6.0

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 4720 6.0 (Prior to FW 06-07)
  • AS/HUMA 4501 6.00

Cross Listings

  • AP/HUMA 4501 6.0 (formerly AS/HUMA 4501)
  • AP/SOSC 4501 6.0 (formerly AS/SOSC 4501)

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SC/STS 4560 6.00 The Anthropology of Science and Technology

Examines anthropological studies of science and technology to explore the power of scientific facts in contemporary cultures. Considers how facts are produced and stabilized in scientific laboratories, how facts are made to travel, and how we incorporate facts in our daily lives and practices. Key themes include the politics of science in relation to race, gender, identity, and capitalism.

Prerequisites

None

Exclusions

  • AP/ANTH 3550 6.00 (prior to Fall 2013)
  • SC/STS 3550 6.00 (prior to Fall 2013)
  • AS/ANTH 3550 6.00 (prior to Fall 2009)
  • SC/STS 3975550 6.00 (prior to Fall 2009)

Cross Listings

  • AP/ANTH 4560 6.00

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SC/STS 4700 3.00 Independent Research in Science and Technology Studies

This course offers the opportunity for students to design and pursue a course of individualized study in consultation with the Science and Technology Studies Program Co-ordinator and proposed course director. Note: Students must be accepted by a faculty supervisor before registering for SC/STS 4700 3.00 and must have permission from the Science and Technology Studies Department Chair.

Prerequisites

78 credits and permission of the STS Dept. Chair

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 4700 3.0
  • AK/STS 4700 6.0
  • SC/STS 4700 6.0
  • AK/STS 4710 6.0
  • SC/STS 4710 6.0

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 4700 3.00 Independent Research in Science and Technology Studies

This course offers the opportunity for students to design and pursue a course of individualized study in consultation with the Science and Technology Studies Program Co-ordinator and proposed course director. Note: Students must be accepted by a faculty supervisor before registering for SC/STS 4700 3.00 and must have permission from the Science and Technology Studies Department Chair.

Prerequisites

78 credits and permission of the STS Dept. Chair

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 4700 3.0
  • AK/STS 4700 6.0
  • SC/STS 4700 6.0
  • AK/STS 4710 6.0
  • SC/STS 4710 6.0

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 4700 6.00 Independent Research in Science and Technology Studies

This course offers the opportunity for students to design and pursue a course of individualized study in consultation with the Science and Technology Studies Program Co-ordinator and proposed course director. Note: Students must be accepted by a faculty supervisor before registering for SC/STS 4700 6.00 and must have permission from the Science and Technology Studies Department Chair.

Prerequisites

78 credits and permission of the STS Dept. Chair

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 4700 3.0
  • SC/STS 4700 3.0
  • AK/STS 4700 6.0
  • AK/STS 4710 6.0
  • SC/STS 4710 6.0

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 4710 6.00 Honours Thesis in Science and Technology Studies

Original research undertaken by a student under the supervision of a thesis committee. Note: Open only to honours students in Science and Technology Studies.

Prerequisites

78 credits and permission of the STS Dept. Chair.

Exclusions

  • AK/STS 4700 3.00
  • SC/STS 4700 3.00
  • AK/STS 4700 6.00
  • SC/STS 4700 6.00
  • AK/STS 4710 6.00

Cross Listings

None

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SC/STS 4780 3.00 Epidemics and the Modern World: Local, National & Global Configurations of Disease

This course explores the changing interactions between epidemic disease, governance, and scientific knowledge since the nineteenth century. Widespread infections, pathological outbreaks, and emerging diseases are examined at the local, national, and global levels as both historical agents and as constructs.

Prerequisites

Completion of sixty credits of which three credits are drawn from 3000 level STS or HIST courses; or permission of the instructor.

Exclusions

None

Cross Listings

AP/HIST 4088 3.00

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SC/STS 4785 3.00 Science, Health and Food

An examination of how knowledge is generated and validated in health and food sectors through analysis of studies, statistics, publications, evidence based medicine, government regulation and policy in Canada, the USA and the EU. Case studies will detail controversial issues.

Prerequisites

Completion of 60 credits

Exclusions

None

Cross Listings

None

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