Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Science, Technology and Society



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Ciências Sociais Aplicadas



Teacher in charge

Maria Paula Pires dos Santos Diogo

Weekly hours


Teaching language



This course aims at:

* (i) leading students to ask themselves crucial questions on the nature of the relationship between science, technology and society;

* (ii) leading students to think about their future work as engineers and about their rights and duties as citizens;

* (iii) increasing the students’ capacity of decision and adjustment in a changing world.


(i) specific capabilities to be developed:

* to understand the structure of technoscientific knowledge and its relations with social, economic, and cultural contexts;

* to master the fundamental concepts for the analysis of the interrelationship between science, technology and society.

 (ii) general capabilities to be implemented:

* to understand the dynamics of the relationship between science, technology and society;

* to build a critical memory on the role of science and technology in European society;
* to develop a sense of ethics and social responsibility;
*  to relate professional practice with the with active citizenship.

Subject matter


      0.Science, Technology and Society
      Critical issues of the relationship between science, technology    and society. Ethics, social responsibility and citizenship

  1. Risk, Safety, Responsibility and Accountability: risk society and modern ethics. Ethics, social responsibility and citizenship
  2. Science, Technology and Gender: women in science and technology; gender issues in the construction of scientific discourse.
  3. Sustainability Networks - Environment and Society: intersections between political/economic decisions, scientific and technical expertise and environmental issues.
  4. Models of contemporary techno-scientific research and social responsibility: Einstein, Bohr and Oppenheimer.
  5. The Bio and Nano Future: landmarks and ethical debates.
  6. And Man Created the Cyborg: science, technology and pop culture; fears and distrust; the thin line between human and nonhuman.
  7. Making Modernity Visible. Science, Technology and Cinema: film narrative and technoscience.
  8. The Information Society.and the experience of contemporaneity


Allhoff, F.et al (eds.), Nanoethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology

Brodwin, P.E. (ed.), Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics

Carson, R., Silent Spring

Castells, M., Rise of The Network Society

Collins, H., Pinch, T., The Golem at Large

Irwin, A., Sociology and the Environment

Jonas, H., The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of Ethics for the Technological Age

Evetts, J., Gender and Career in Science and Engineering

Elliott, J., An Introduction to Sustainable Development

Malartre, E., Benford, G., Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs

Goodchild, P., J. Robert Oppenheimer, Shatterer of Worlds

Teaching method

Each session lasts three-hours (theory and practice).The contents of the program are presented by the teacher and supported by slides, technical texts, literature, and films covering the topics outlined in the syllabus.

The fouth hour of each session is for independent work to be developed by the student based on the CTS course site.

Students are encouraged to have a critical posture concerning the topics of the program.

Evaluation method

The course for undergraduate and master students is evaluated by:

1. 2 miniquizzes per session on complementary information that will be available at the CTS site (25%); 

2. 1 quizz on selected audo-visual material (20%);

3. one test on the contents of the syllabus. This test will have 8 groups of questions, from which students will answer to 6. In order to be admitted to the test students must have frequência (55%)

Participation in the debates that take place during the sessions will be taken into account.

In order to have frequência students must: (1) be present in 3/4 of the sessions; answer to 3/4 of the miniquizzes; (3) answer to one of the quizzes on selected audio-visual material.

The test aims at assessing if students master the contents of the syllabus; the quizzes aim at assessing if students are able to use what they learned in classes in different learning environments and in an autonomous way.