Year of entry: 2024
- View tabs
- View full page
Course unit details:
Risk: Science, Society and Culture
|FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
|Available as a free choice unit?
This course considers how ideas, understandings, and practices around risk have become essential to modern science, technology and medicine, and thus human life. It begins by considering how mathematical and statistical thinking were employed in economics, and how quantified understandings of risk have been deployed by experts to explain, guide and interpret human fates in the natural and social world. Drawing on history and sociology of STM and science and technology studies, we begin in the late eighteenth century and continue up to the present day.
This unit aims to
- introduce students to the history of ideas about, understandings of, and practices regarding risk, especially as they have been conditioned by science, technology and medicine.
- develop understanding of how and why past experts have assessed risks and how everyday people have conceptualised risk and scientific thinking about it in their own lives
- encourage students to consider both expert conceptions of risk and lay experiences of risk in broader historical, sociological and anthropological contexts
- promote appreciation of how science, technology and medicine have interacted to produce risk thinking as a feature of modern life
- develop students’ skills in analysing and discussing primary and secondary literature relating to the history of risk in science, technology and medicine
- enhance students’ research and essay-writing skills, and provide suitable grounding for dissertation research into history of science, technology and medicine; science and health communication; history; sociology; and health sciences.
|Written assignment (inc essay)
Lecturers will offer feedback on drafts, at a level consistent with being able to offer an equal degree of support to all students in the group. Essays will be submitted, and feedback delivered, electronically, typically via Turnitin GradeMark. Following the return of feedback, assessors will also be available for one-to-one discussion meetings with students.
|Independent study hours