NS304 Science, Technology, and Society

for U1HH 2008

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Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


NS 304 Science, Technology, and Society


U1HH 2008 PA


Vaughan, David K.


Adjunct Professor


BS Engineering Sciences, US Air Force Academy, 1962
MA English, University of Michigan, 1969
PhD English, University of Washington, 1974

Daytime Phone

(513) 897-0952

Other Phone

(937) 304-9068  (c)




Semester Dates

Summer (26 May-27 July) 2008  

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 10:30 PM

Credit Hours



Rudi Volti, Society and Technological Change, 5th ed. (New York: Worth Publishers, 2005). Abbreviated in schedule as STC.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

The following sources may prove helpful in understanding course material and in preparing the course paper and oral report.

Bureau of Naval Personnel. Basic Machines and How they Work. Dover Publications, 1971.

Buchanan, R. A. The Power of the Machine: The Impact of Technology from 1700 to the Present Day. Viking, 1992.

Cardwell, D. The Norton History of Technology. Norton, 1994.

Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. A Social History of American Technology. Oxford University Press, 1997.

Ferguson, Eugene S. Engineering and the Mind's Eye. MIT Press, 1992.

Finch, James Kip. The Story of Engineering. Doubleday, 1960.

Hawke, David Freeman. Nuts and Bolts of the Past: A History of American Technology, 1776-1860. Harper & Row, 1988.

Hills, Richard L. Power from Steam: A History of the Stationary Steam Engine. Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Juenger, Friedrich. The Failure of Technology. Regnery, 1956.

May, George S. A Most Unique Machine: The Michigan Origins of the American Automobile Industry. Eerdmans, 1975.

Petroski, Henry. To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design. St Martins, 1985.

Pursell, Carroll. The Machine in America: A Social History of Technology. John Hopkins, 1995.

Pursell, Carroll, ed. Technology in America: A History of Individuals and Ideas. MIT Press, 1981.

Rapport, Samuel, and Helen Wright, eds. Engineering: Cases and Examples. New York University Press, 1963.

Rolt, L. T. C. James Watt. Batsford, 1962.

Tichi, Cecelia. Shifting Gears: Technology, Literature, Culture in Modernist America. North Carolina, 1987.



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Course Description:
Relationship between science, technology,and society. Topics include: the two cultures, the relationship between basic science and technology, the effects of technology upon society, and possible future technologies. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor’s educational philosophy is to establish an atmosphere of interaction in the classroom and to encourage interest and inquiry towards the subject.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain concepts of how and why science works and the many ways that science and technology affect our lives.
  2. Define and explain the processes of science and scientific inquiry.
  3. Discuss and illustrate relevant impacts of science and technology on individual lives, professions, and the global society.
  4. Demonstrate the analytical and critical thinking skills essential to making informed judgments and informed choices regarding science and technology.
  5. Analyze and determine statements that are based on science versus those that are not.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. understand the relationships between science, technology, engineering, and society
  2. describe efforts to control the impacts of technology and technological change
  3. understand options for controlling technological growth
  4. communicate important concepts relating to technology and technological growth in oral and written form
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Course grades will be calculated from scores obtained on the following course assignments: midterm and final exam; written course report; oral report based on course paper; homework assignments; and class participation.


Course grades will be calculated from scores obtained on midterm and final exam (25% each); written course report (25%); homework assignments (10 %); oral reports (10%); and class participation (5%). Students will complete a 4-6 page paper and deliver an 8-10 minute oral report based on the paper. Assignments are graded with numerical scores according to the following scale: A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 60-69; F = below 60. Final grades are based on the weighted average of grades received on all course assignments.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments submitted late and tests completed late will be penalized 10% of the earned grade unless lateness was due to excused absence. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Class sessions will consist of a combination of lecture, class discussions, and in-class exercises. Students are expected to arrive promptly and remain in class for the full period of class time. Assignments or tests completed late will be penalized 10% of the earned grade unless lateness is the result of excused absence. Excused absences must be supported by written documentation signed by official approving authority. If no written documentation is provided, absence will be considered unexcused. According to Park University policy, two consecutive unexcused absences or three total unexcused absences will result in administrative withdrawal from the course with a grade of "F." Students should notify the instructor if they expect to be absent from class, and they should arrange to obtain information and instructions that were given out during their absence. Plagiarism (the intentional use of the work of others without appropriate acknowledgement) will result in a failing grade. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off while class is in session.


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

29 May   Introduction   STC, Ch 1, 4

05 June   Technology and Change   STC, Ch 2, 3, 8 Homework Q1


12 June   Technology and Work   STC, Ch 5, 9, 10 Homework Q2

19 June   Technology, Energy, and Medicine  STC, Ch 6, 7 Homework Q3

26 June   Technology and Communication; Midterm Examination   STC, Ch 11, 12

03 July   Technology and Warfare   STC, Ch 13, 14 Homework Q4

10 July   Organizational Control of Technology    STC, Ch. 15, 16 Homework Q5

17 July   Governmental Controls and Technology   STC, Ch 17 Oral reports

24 July   Course Review; Course reports due; Oral reports;   Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:4/15/2008 7:59:28 AM