UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


HPSC3036 Governing Emerging Technologies

This page provides information about HPSC3036. The module tutor is Dr Jack Stilgoe.

Module description

This course goes inside technology to discuss its political and ethical dimensions. Technologies shape our future in powerful and largely unaccountable ways. Are they inevitable, or can we control the technologies that we get, anticipate their implications, prevent hazards and share their benefits? Why do we have iPads and space shuttles but we don’t all drive electric cars and have clean drinking water in the developing world? Were the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and the financial crisis just accidents? What could regulators have done to prevent them? As science introduces new risks and ethical dilemmas, what should governments do to control research, publication, patenting and innovation? The course will teach students to think and write clearly and critically about technology. It will be assessed through an essay and a series of short blog-posts.

Moodle page (link)
Video introduction (link)


Term 1

Consult the common timetable (link)


Type Description Weighting%
CW Coursework 1 (3,000 words) 50.0
CW Coursework 2 (3,000 words) 50.0