History of Science and Technology
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Winter 2020
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): General Education
Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
Course Leader or Contact: Matthew Sheridan
Version: 20200106_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: This is a hybrid course, meaning that some sessions are conducted in a classroom while others are completely online, as determined by the course design. The hybrid model is 2 hours in a classroom and 1 hour virtual per week.

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students explore human, social and economic aspects of science and technology through sociological and historical lenses. Social aspects of science are investigated including the different types and responsibilities of scientists, as well as controversies and resolutions in the scientific community. Historical case studies are examined to assess the relationship of science and technology to wider society, industries and global economies. Current social and economic issues impacting science and technology are also assessed including sustainability, resources and the environment. Students participate in a variety of self-directed and group activities. Through textbook readings, online readings, videos, course exercises, group assignments and discussions, students describe, assess and analyze how science and technology affect society.

Program Context

General Education Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
The course is part of the General Education curriculum which is designed to contribute to the development of the students consciousness of the diversity, complexity, and richness of the human experience; their ability to establish meaning through this consciousness; and, as a result, their ability to contribute thoughtfully, creatively, and positively to the society in which they live and work. General Education courses strengthen students generic skills, such as critical analysis, problem solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course students will have demonstrated the ability to identify the relevance of science and technology to the modern world.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Explain the impacts of science and technology on government, industry, and global economies.
  2. Assess the importance of the codes of conduct as they apply in science and technology and the responsibilities of scientists.
  3. Identify the relevance of technological innovation and change to the Industrial Revolution and global economies.
  4. Discuss controversies regarding science and technology and modes of resolution.
  5. Analyze recent primary and secondary sources relevant to the study of science, technology and society.
  6. Describe how current social, cultural and environmental issues impact the future of science and technology.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Midterm Quiz15.0%
 Discussion 115.0%
 Discussion 215.0%
 Discussion 315.0%
 Final Test20.0%
 Group Assignment20.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
TEST AND ASSIGNMENT PROTOCOL To encourage behaviours that will help students to be successful in the workplace and to ensure that students receive credit for their individual work, the following rules apply to every course offered within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 1. Students are responsible for staying abreast of test dates and times, as well as due dates and any special instructions for submitting assignments and projects as supplied to the class by the professor. 2. Students must write all tests at the specified times. Missed tests, in-class activities, assignments and presentations are awarded a mark of zero. If an extension or make-up opportunity is approved by the professor as outlined below, the mark of zero may be revised by subsequent performance. The penalty for late submission of written assignments is a loss of 10% per day for up to five business days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays), after which, a grade of zero is assigned. Business days include any day that the college is open for business, whether the student has scheduled classes that day or not. 3. Students, who miss a test or in-class activity or assignment or fail to submit an assignment on time due to exceptional circumstances, are required to notify their professor in advance of the class whenever possible. A make-up test may be supplied for students who provide an acceptable explanation of their absence and/or acceptable documentation explaining their absence (e.g., a medical certificate). All make-up tests are to be written at a time and place specified by the professor upon the student's return. Alternately, students may be given an opportunity to earn the associated marks by having a subsequent test count for the additional marks. Exceptional circumstances may result in a modification of due dates for assignments. 4. Unless otherwise specified, assignments and projects must be submitted at the beginning of class. 5. Students must complete every assignment as an individual effort unless, the professor specifies otherwise. 6. Since there may be instances of grade appeal or questions regarding the timely completion of assignments and/or extent of individual effort, etc., students are strongly advised to keep, and make available to their professor, if requested, a copy of all assignments and working notes until the course grade has been finalized. 7. There will be no re-submission of work unless this has been previously agreed to or suggested by the professor. 8. Students must submit all assignments in courses with practical lab and field components in order to pass the course.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication Skills - Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills - Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
  • Information Management Skills - Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • Personal Skills - Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.
  • Communication Skills - Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Show respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  • Personal Skills - Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

General Education
This General Education course relates to the following themes as specified by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

  • Science and Technology

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Challenge Exam
    Notes:  PLAR consists of a Challenge Exam.

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-class & Online Instruction
Professor: Multiple Professors
RequiredTextbookScience, Technology and Society: An Introduction, Bridgstock, Martin, Cambridge University Press, 2003
RequiredOtherCore readings are listed in the course Modules below. However, additional readings and resources will be assigned through the online platform SLATE. These readings will be accessible on SLATE, web links and relevant news services.

Applicable student group(s): Cross College Courses
Course Details:

Module 1: Orientation

Unit 1: Orientation

  • Course Orientation
  • Course Overview
  • Resources for successful Hybrid learning

Module 2: History of Science and Technology

Unit 2: Introduction to Science, Technology and Society

  • The importance of science and technology
  • Defining science and technology
  • Brief history of science and technology

Textbook readings: Bridgstock, Burch, Forge, Laurent and Lowe, Chapter 1

Unit 3: Types of Science

  • Academic Science: publish or perish
  • Industrial Science: research and development
  • Government Science: necessary research and public good

Textbook readings: Bridgstock et al., Chapter 2

Evaluations: Discussion 1 (15%)

Module 3: Ethics of Science and Technology

Unit 4: Responsibilities of Scientists

  • Values and moral responsibility
  • Cause and responsibility

Textbook readings: Bridgstock et al., Chapter 3

Unit 5: Rights and Wrongs of Science

  • Code of conduct
  • Human and animal experimentation

Textbook readings: Bridgstock et al., Chapter 4

Module 4: Controversy and Science and Technology

Unit 6: Controversy and Science and Technology

  • How does science work and controversy result?
  • How is scientific controversy resolved?
  • What are technical controversies?
  • Impacts of interest groups, scientific language and misconduct

Textbook readings: Bridgstock et al., Chapter 5

Evaluations: Midterm Quiz (15%)

Module 5: The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain

Unit 7: The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain

  • What is technical change?
  • Technology and industrial production
  • The role of science and technology in the Industrial Revolution

Textbook Readings: Bridgstock et al., Chapter 6

Evaluations: Discussion 2 (15%)

Module 6: Science, Technology and the Economy

Unit 8: Science, Technology and the Economy

  • British Alkali Industry: the role of scientific methods
  • Technological innovation and economic activity
  • The Swedish economy: inventiveness and government support

Textbook Readings: Bridgstock et al., Chapter 7

Evaluations: Discussion 3 (15%)

Module 7: The Future of Science and Technology

Unit 9: The future of Science and Technology

  • Pace of change
  • Problems forecasting the future

Unit 10: Science, Technology and the Environment

  • Sustainability
  • Resources
  • Environment: Impacts of production

Textbook Readings: Bridgstock et al., Chapter 11

Evaluations: Group Assignment (20%), Final Test (20%)

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

[ Printable Version ]

Copyright © Sheridan College. All rights reserved.