LSC 251: Science, Media and Society Summer 2022

LSC 251: Science, Media and Society

Duration: 8 weeks
Credits: 3

Modern science is increasingly surrounded by controversial public debates about its societal applications and political implications. Genetically modified organisms, artificial intelligence, and new gene-editing tools like CRISPR are just a few examples. Most recently, COVID-19 has been a powerful illustration of how unprepared many societies are for using the best available science while making difficult trade-offs between economic well-being, public health, and serving all members of society.

This course explores how we all make personal and political decisions at the intersection of science, media, and society. How do we form opinions about emerging technologies we know little about? Why are societies sometimes so divided in their interpretations of scientific facts and phenomena? Why are there pronounced differences in how consumers and policymakers in Europe, the U.S. other parts of the world react to new technologies? How can we better communicate and debate science and health in a global marketplace? What role do rapidly changing online news environments play changing how we communicate about science and technologies worldwide? And how can we correct misperceptions during pandemics like COVID-19 with science that is still emerging and changing over time?

Lectures and discussions in LSC 251 take a closer look at the social, political and cultural factors shaping the science-public interface, the communication processes among different stakeholders (industry, policy makers, scientists, journalists, and lay publics), and the impacts that these dynamics have on societal debates surrounding science and technology across different countries.

The course also explores practical implications for different aspects of science and technology studies, such as science journalism, marketing, new (information) technologies, political aspects of emerging technologies, scientific literacy, etc.

LSC 251 is an eight-week online-asynchronous course that runs from June 20 to August 14, 2022, and is taught either by LSC Graduate Student Ashley Cate. This course fulfills UW-Madison’s Humanities or Social Science requirement as well as the CALS International Studies requirement.

Enroll now by following this link.