STS 3601

STS 3601

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2021-2022.

Studies ethical issues involved in engineering practice. Explores the engineer's role in technical decision-making in organizations. Considers the engineer's relationship to the uses of technology in society, especially emerging technologies. Case studies covered include the Space Shuttle Challenger, the Space Shuttle Columbia, The Macondo Well Blowout, The Ford Pinto Case, The VW Emissions scandal, the Tesla Automatic Driving accident, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and the Bhopal case, among others. Technology topics considered include brain-machine interface, human enhancement, genetic engineering, intelligent autonomous systems, privacy and surveillance, energy technologies, and environmental issues, among others. Codes of ethics in engineering, ethical theory, philosophical models of knowledge production, and sociological models of human and technological agency are introduced to analyze these issues.

When Offered Spring.

Permission Note Enrollment open to: sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Prerequisites/Corequisites Prerequisite: complete First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS).

Distribution Category (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SSC-AS)

  • Understand current conceptions of engineering ethics.
  • Have an appreciation for philosophical/sociological models underlying analyses of engineering practice.
  • Understand the implications of (2) for considerations of engineering ethics.
  • Be versed in the historical and technical details of particular episodes in engineering (Space Shuttle Challenger, Columbia, Ford Pinto…), current events (VW case, Tesla case…), and emerging technologies (brain-machine interface, gene editing, intelligent autonomous systems…).
  • Be able to communicate in writing effective, compelling arguments supported by evidence.

View Enrollment Information

Syllabi: none
  •   Regular Academic Session.  Combined with: ECE 3600ENGRG 3600

  • 3 Credits GradeNoAud

  •  5939 STS 3601   LEC 001

  • Instruction Mode: In Person