NS304 Science, Technology, and Society

for U1T 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

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


S2T 2006 DLB


Winslow, Jerome C.




Ph.D. University of Wyoming
B.S. Penn State University
B.S.  University of Michigan

Office Location

714 Rose Ave., Big Rapids, Michigan, 49307

Office Hours


Daytime Phone

(231) 796-4476




Semester Dates


Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours


The required text is The Demon Haunted World -- Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan, Published by Ballantine Books, New York, 1996. ISBN: 0-345-40946-9.

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

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:
I am very excited about the opportunity to teach NS304 this semester.  Even though we can give them separate names, science and technology are not independent from society.  Rather, society could be thought of as an umbrella covering many social components, two of which are science and technology.  Science and technology also interact; advances in science can lead to new technologies and new technologies can improve the ability of scientists to observe and measure.  While teaching NS304, I will act as a guide for you to develop your own understanding of these interrelationships and how they could affect your life and career.  As any guide should, I will keep things clear and as simple as possible.  I will do my best to not get in your way.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. 1. Discuss and explain fundamental concepts relating to how science works and why science works that way.
  2. 2. Discuss and illustrate some of the many ways that science and technology affect our lives.
  3. 3. Discuss and illustrate key characteristics of the nature of science and the fundamental processes of science, scientific inquiry and a "scientific approach".
  4. 4. Discuss and illustrate with examples relevant to your own life the enormous and pervasive impacts of science and technology on our individual lives, our professions, our society and the world we live in.
  5. 5. Discuss and illustrate with real life examples  how and why technologies almost always have multiple impacts, including unintended consequences, or "side effects".
  6. 6. Discuss and illustrate with real life examples the strengths and limitations of science - what science can and can not do.
  7. 7. Demonstrate in depth the independent analytical and critical thinking skills essential to making informed judgments and informed choices regarding:
Class Assessment:
Students of NS304 are expected to be familiar with each of the components of the on-line course; the homework, lectures and slide shows, and readings.  They are expected to participate regularly and frequently in class discussions, do their own work and to submit required homework on time (by the end of each week).  Students are also expected to communicate regularly with their instructor regarding attendance, illness, or absenses.  They must choose a final exam proctor by the end of the 3rd week.

Course Grading (in %'s):
Take-home Midterm examination                15%
Proctored* Final  examination                30%
Class online participation & assignments** 25%
Position paper                                30%
There are no weekly quizzes.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Work is expected to be submitted on time.  It is very difficult to catch up when you fall behind in an accelerated online course.  Online interaction works best when we are all “on the same page”.
Our course week runs from Monday to Sunday.  Assignments are due at Sunday midnight.  (Technically, the course runs on U.S. Mountain time, but you are welcome to submit your assignments by Sunday midnight according to your local time.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Quizes:  There will be no weekly quizes for this course.

Homework:  There will be weekly homework assignments.

Weekly On-line Discussion: Everyone will be expected to participate in the weekly discussions.

Paper One: During weeks 4 and 5 a short issue commentary paper will be required.

Paper Two:  One eight to ten page equivalent (approximately 2000 words) written "paper" is required.  Sharing these papers online and examining the issues and topics that they cover will be a major focus of the last two weeks of the term.  This paper will help satisfy Park's requirements for a Liberal Learning (LL) course. This paper will be required for submission during week 6,

The mid-term exam will be a take-home exam.  The questions will be given to you during week 4 and are due at the end of week 5.  The first question will be paper one.

The final exam will be closed-book, open-note (2 sheets, both sides).  You will be asked to answer 3 assigned questions from a much larger list of canidate questions which you will be given during week 7.

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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

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, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. 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 "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

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 .

Additional Information:

Instructor Bio:

I have an interdisciplinary background that has provided me with a broad perspective on the role of science and technology in our society.  I have undergraduate degrees in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology, graduate work in cinema studies, high-altitude meteorology and high-energy astrophysics as well as a Ph.D. in Plant Ecophysiology and Ecosystem Modeling.  My preparation for teaching NS304 includes over 20 years working experience in both applied science and pure scientific research.  I have taught at the university level since 1994, working for Park University, the University of Wyoming, and Texas Tech University.  In 2004, health problems forced me to leave Texas.  I now live in Big Rapids, Michigan where, in addition to teaching on-line for Park, I have continued research through telecommuting with associates at the USDA Agricultural Research Service.


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Last Updated:5/23/2006 3:55:11 PM