CANCELLED: Science in Society

Course content

In this course the students will analyze, reflect on and discuss the use and misuse of scientific knowledge in the making and in the public sphere. The course will consist of a theoretical and a practical part. In the theoretical part students are working with basic theoretical tools from philosophy of science for understanding and analyzing science and the various roles scientific knowledge plays in society. In the practical part the students will work with a case study, preferably taken from their own scientific program. Under supervision the students are required to analyze and reflect upon the way scientific knowledge is produced and used in the particular case. They are required to reflect upon how they can enter the debate themselves in a constructive way and they are required to draft a contribution to the debate in the form of an article in a format of their own choosing, e.g. a newspaper article, an opinion letter, blog post etc. As part of this process the students will furthermore read other students' article drafts and give constructive feedback.

Learning outcome


At the end of the course the student should know selected accounts from philosophy of science describing the role of scientific knowledge in the public sphere.



At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • identify good and bad practices concerning the use of scientific knowledge in the public sphere in relation to a specific case
  • enter the public debate in order to respond to the use of scientific knowledge in the public sphere



At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • analyze, reflect upon, and critically assess the use of scientific knowledge in the public sphere
  • reflect upon his or her own responsibilities and actions in connection to entering the public debate as a scientist

Lectures, exercises, peer-instruction, writing under supervision

A list of required literature will be posted on Absalon two weeks before the course starts. All literature will be available either on Absalon or in book stores on campus.

Knowledge of a scientific discipline equivalent to at least a bachelor degree.
Basic knowledge of general philosophy of science is recommended.

Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio exam based on 1) the student's article, 2) a report containing the student's analysis and reflections on the chosen case and reflections on the student's own article and 3) the student’s written peer feedback to at least one fellow student's article draft. The portfolio is assessed as a collected whole.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examinator.
Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 80
  • Lectures
  • 16
  • Exercises
  • 21
  • Class Instruction
  • 10
  • Exam Preparation
  • 79
  • English
  • 206