MASCOT - Mapping of Scientific Controversies

Course content

Today, addressing societal challenges often relies on complicated technological and scientific knowledge about which experts are not always in agreement. For example, genetically manipulated foods, energy supplies, climate change, environmental risk assessments, stem cells, vaccines or pharmaceuticals are often surrounded by unsettled scientific debate and discussion. Moreover, expert disagreement can also shape social and cultural issues such as heritage, multiculturalism, economic forecasts, or legal norms.

The aim of Mapping Scientific Controversies is to enable students to map, analyse and graphically visualize these kinds of technological and/or scientific controversies, primarily through the use of digital methods and tools (such as NaviCrawler and Gephi). In doing so, students will gain essential competences for navigating in global knowledge and risk societies

Education

BA/MA Elective course

Course package (MSc 2015):  Knowledge, organisation and politics

Learning outcome

Through the course students will achieve – by acquiring relevant analytical knowledge and methodological skills that will allow them to design and carry out a mapping of a scientific controversy – competencies that will allow them to:

A) Search for, collect and process large quantities of data in order to document in detail and map out a multi-dimensional social phenomenon (in the form of a controversy)

B) Carry out an analysis of a self-chosen technological and/or scientific topic on the basis of a controversy’s temporal and spatial dynamics, as well as its networks and actors

C) Use and show aptitude for a range of tools and visualization techniques which are used to communicate and publish a self-chosen controversy in the form of a website.

D) Locate a technological and/or scientific controversy within contemporary social, cultural and political dynamics by using key social scientific concepts

The course has been designed as a form of teaching-based research carried out in project groups. Students also attend lectures and participate in class discussions around relevant theoretical and methodological issues. Course literature consists of state-of-the-art scientific journal articles, many of which are drawn from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS).

Students enrolled at Department of Anthropology:

7,5 ECTS

BSc, international and credit students: 500 Pages
MSc students: 500 Pages + 200 Pages chosen by students

 

Students enrolled at Department of Sociology:

7,5 ECTS

BSc, international and credit students: 600-700 Pages
MSc students: 600-700 Pages

10 ECTS

BSc, international and credit students: 800 Pages
MSc students: 800 Pages
 

Literature chosen by students must be relevant to the course’s subject matter.

There are no particular requirements for participating in the course, although an interest in use of IT as a tool of (re)search and analysis will be a benefit.

Workload - 10 ECTS:

Exam Preparation: 34
Project Work: 130
Seminar: 50
Course Preparation: 61

Total: 275 hours

ECTS
See exam description
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 under invigilation
Oral exam:
Project groups are expected to develop a website on which to present and visualise the self-chosen technological and/or scientific controversy. A hyperlink to the website must be uploaded via the Digital Exam system prior to the specified course deadline. Oral exams will be held with each group on the basis of the website. Examiners will ask questions related to the mapped controversy, course literature and digital methods
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

ECTS
See exam description
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 under invigilation
Oral exam:
Project groups are expected to develop a website on which to present and visualise the self-chosen technological and/or scientific controversy. A hyperlink to the website must be uploaded via the Digital Exam system prior to the specified course deadline. Oral exams will be held with each group on the basis of the website. Examiners will ask questions related to the mapped controversy, course literature and digital methods
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam Preparation
  • 16
  • Project work
  • 105
  • Seminar
  • 42
  • Course Preparation
  • 43
  • English
  • 206