• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest Philosophy, Policy Studies, Science, Science Communication, Ethics
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Mode of delivery In Person
Science in Society: Ethics, Public Policy and Scientific Practice (PHIL2126)

Perhaps now more so than in any other time in human history, science and technology play a central role in our lives. With this comes the potential for both great benefit to society, and great harm. This unit critically examines the nature of science, and its role in society via a mixture of discussion and written activities. Using various real world  examples, such as climate change, cloning, genetic engineering, space exploration and animal testing, the following ethical and philosophical questions will be considered: (1) What is science?; (2) What sort of research should we be doing in science?; (3) Who should decide what research we undertake?; (4) What role should science and scientists play in society?; and (5) What ethical responsibility do scientists have to society?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand and articulate the key philosophical issues relating to the role of the sciences in contemporary society.
  2. Engage in philosophical discussion and debate on the various issues relating to the appropriate place of science in society.
  3. Critically assess arguments about the appropriate place of science in society.
  4. Clearly articulate their own position with respect to contemporary real world debates about science in society.

Indicative Assessment

Essay, 2000 words, 40% (Learning Outcomes 1-5)

Essay planning exercise, 500 words, 5% (Learning Outcomes 1-5)

Short writing exercise, 750 words, 15% (Learning Outcomes 2-5)

Tutorial participation, 10% (Learning Outcomes 1-5)

Journal 1500 words, 30% (Learning Outcomes 1-5)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

6 units of Philosophy (PHIL) courses or with permission of the course convenor

Majors

Minors

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 1
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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