860-0017-00L Argumentation and Science Communication
|Semester||Spring Semester 2016|
|Lecturers||A. Wenger, C. J. Baumberger, M. Dunn Cavelty, G. Hirsch Hadorn, U. Jasper, R. Knutti|
|Periodicity||yearly recurring course|
|Language of instruction||English|
|Comment||Number of participants limited to 10.|
MSc students, PhD students and postdocs with a science and technology background have priority.
|Abstract||Analyzing and communicating the aims and ethical implications of scientific research is an essential element at the intersection of science, technology and policy making. This course is split into two modules which focus (1) on arguing about ethical aspects and scientific uncertainties of policies, and (2) on communicating scientific results to policy-makers and the wider public.|
|Objective||Students learn to consider uncertainties in inferences from computer simulation results to real-world policy problems and acquire an understanding of ethical positions and arguments concerning values, justice and risks related to policies. They learn how to analyze the particular prerequisites for the successful dissemination of scientific results to policy-makers and the wider public.|
|Content||Analyzing and communicating the aims and ethical implications of scientific research is an essential element at the intersection of science, technology and policy making. In the first module of this course, we will provide a framework for considering uncertainties in inferences from computer simulation results to real-world policy problems. Moreover, we will introduce and discuss ethical positions and arguments concerning values, justice and risks related to policies. Subsequently, we will learn how to clarify concepts as well as how to identify, reconstruct and evaluate arguments and complex argumentations. In the second module, we will analyze the particular prerequisites for the successful dissemination of scientific results to policy-makers and the wider public. To get a better understanding of the expectations and needs of different target groups we will invite guest speakers and professionals from both the media and the policy world to share their experiences and discuss common problems. The final part of this course consists of practical applications and exercises. Proceeding in a 'draft/revise/submit'-manner, students will have to present a scientific project (possibly linked to a case study) in two different formats (e.g. newspaper contribution and policy brief). Faculty will supervise the writing process and provide reviews and comments on drafts (in collaboration with ETHZ Hochschulkommunikation and the Language Center).|
W2: Computer models and simulations: How do we learn about real-world problems by models and computer simulations? What can we infer from their results for policy advice?
W3: Values: What are the implications of basic distinctions in value theory such as intrinsic vs extrinsic/instrumental values, anthropocentric vs non-anthropocentric values, and value monism vs value pluralism for policy assessments?
W4: Justice: What are the ethical arguments for and against different conceptions of intra- and intergenerational justice, such as egalitarianism, grandfathering, polluter or beneficiary pays principle, and capability approaches?
W5: Risks: What are permissible risks from the perspective of different ethical theories, such as utilitarianism, contractualism, deontological and right-based theories?
W6: Concepts and arguments: Clarification of ambiguous and vague concepts, identification and reconstruction of arguments, types of theoretical and practical arguments
W7: Concepts and arguments: Criteria for good arguments, typical fallacies, use of arguments in discussions
W8: The science of science communication: Basic insights from communication theory
W9: Different Audiences, Different Formats: What are the particular prerequisites for the successful dissemination of scientific results to policy-makers? What are the writing and presentation skills needed?
W10: What are the particular prerequisites for communicating with the wider public? The dos and don'ts of media interaction. What are the benefits and challenges of social media?
W11: Study week: Students work on their two 'praxis projects' and submit two drafts.
W12: Supervision and Revision
W13: Supervision and Revision
W14: Wrap-up: Effectively communicating science-related topics and their political and ethical implications to a non-expert audience.
|Lecture notes||Papers are made available for the participants of this course.|
|Literature||Papers are made available for the participants of this course.|
|Prerequisites / Notice||The total number of students is 10. MSc students, PhD students and postdocs with a science and technology background have priority; weekly meetings of 3 hours during FS 2016, 6 ETCS (39 contact hours + 141 hours for preparations and exercises); grading based on the exercises on a 1-6 point scale, the parts contribute in the following way: argumentation 50%, science communication 50%.|