UCL Learning Portfolio


Critical Thinking: Science and Emerging Technology
Course Description:

Technologies shape our future in powerful and largely unaccountable ways. Are they inevitable, or can we control the technologies that we get, anticipate the implications, prevent hazards and share the benefits?

Is innovation a form of `organised irresponsibility??

As science introduces new risks and ethical questions, what should governments do to control research and innovation? Case studies will include self-driving cars, geoengineering and genetic engineering. We will use ideas from ethics, sociology of science, philosophy of technology and science policy studies.

This session will cover:

  • Case studies of emerging technologies, including gene editing, geoengineering, AI and self-driving cars
  • Ethical and political questions raised by new technologies
  • The relationship between social problems and technological 'fixes'
  • Lock-in in sociotechnical systems
  • New technologies as 'social experiments'

  • Objectives:

    By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe and discuss different ways in which science is colonial
  • Critically assess both colonial and decolonizing scientific projects
  • Reflect on how science can be practiced or imagined as decolonial or anti-colonial

  • Intended Audience:
    Target Audience: UCL Research Staff and PG Research students only
    14/11/2022 - 14/11/2022  (Enrol between 10/10/2022 and 07/11/2022) Enrol

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