Science, Conflict and Globalisation

Subject 136-540 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week, to be held in the evening
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Usually admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth-year honours, or a postgraduate coursework program.
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Dr Rosemary Robins
Subject Overview:

The subject examines controversies in which science and technology are central to the management of uncertainty and to decisions about how we shall live. It focuses on the relationship between expertise, policy, and citizenship. It introduces students to several case-studies, such as hazardous waste management, the siting of a nuclear facility, logging of native forests, uranium mining, the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment, the conservation and management of water resources. Students will examine how decisions are made when the science is intrinsically difficult and uncertain. They will evaluate methods of stakeholder engagement and resolution of conflict. They will trace and analyse the strategies and pathways by which outcomes are negotiated and consider the scope and effectiveness of citizen involvement in decision-making. On completion of the subject students will have gained a greater appreciation of the complex relationships between science, policy and citizenship in areas of decision-making where science and technology are central.

Assessment: Two 500 word papers totalling1000 words 30% (due during semester) and an essay of 4000 words 70% (due end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have developed research skills;

  • have developed critical thinking and analysis;

  • be able to think in theoretical terms;

  • be able to understand social, ethical and cultural contexts;

  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically;

  • have developed public speaking skills;

  • have developed written communication skills;

  • have developed good time management and planning.

Notes: .
Related Course(s): M.A.History & Philosophy of Science (Advanced Seminars & Shorter Thesis)
Master of Arts (International Studies)(Adv. Seminars and Shorter Thesis)
Master of Arts (Science, Communication and Society)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (History and Philosophy of Science)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (History & Philosophy of Science)

Download PDF version.