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These courses are intended mainly for graduate students who would take a leadership role in the future such as principal investigators (PIs). Through workshops and lectures, “Science, Technology, and Society I/II” examine the social infrastructure and societal impact of science. It also discusses research ethics and problems arising from interactions between scientific research and society.

In FY 2015, “Researchers and Society” (English) will be delivered on October 7, 2015 as part of the “2015 Second Semester Freshman Course” instead of “Science, Technology, and Society I” (English). “Science, Technology, and Society II” (English) is scheduled for December 3-4, 2015. Please follow the link below for more details.

“Science, Technology, and Society I”

“Science, Technology, and society I” starts with a workshop on what a “bad”/”good” researcher is, as a gateway to the discussion of the ethical dimensions of science such as research ethics and the social reponsibility of scientists, and science communication. During this course, instructors give lectures and workshops covering the following topics relevant to such ethical discussions.

  • Section 1: Various perspectives on science, and concepts useful for discussions of ethical issues on science and technology
  • Section 2: Historical process in which manifold relationships between science, society, states, and industry emerged from the seventeenth century to the present, and how these historical paths affected the formation of scientific communities and scientists’ norms and images.
  • Section 3: Practice of how each participant communicates the pros and cons of scientific research to society based on reflections on the current situation of social infrastructure for scientific research and different stakeholders’ views on science and technology.

“Science, Technology, and Society II”

In “Science, Technology, and Society II,” students develop a future vision of their individual research and of research fields as a whole. The aim of this course is to make participants realize that envisioning their future as a researcher necessarily includes thinking about the social infrastructure and broader social impacts of scientific research. The workshop consists of the following two sections:

  • Section 1: Participants practice as an individual in visualizing, organizing, and communicating their ideas of what kind of research they want to do by drawing a “mind map.” They would then do the same for what resources (funding, samples, collaborators, etc.) their research would need and the broader social impacts and problems their research would possibly have. This section concludes with sharing their products (mind maps) with other participants and discussing similarities and differences between their visions.
  • Section 2: Participants then form groups, and each group develops a vision of a new research field with the same above method but with a larger mind map. Finally, all groups give a final presentation of the future vision of a new field using their products.

During the course, lectures will be given on relevant topics, such as the social impacts of scientific research in the past and present and recent trends in science and technology policies putting strong emphasis on broader impacts in addition to academic merits.