Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2016

Science, Technology, and Policy Master Information
Core Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
860-0013-00LPolitical Economics
Prerequisite: An introductory course in Economics is required to sign up for this course.
W3 credits2VJ.‑E. Sturm, S. Pichler
AbstractThis course takes incentives of politicians into account to form a better understanding of the formation of policy and the role of different political institutions in shaping economic policy.
ObjectiveIn principles courses of economics, the functioning of markets and ways in which the government can shape and influence are discussed. The implicit assumption thereby is that the government will act in the interest of society at large. This course takes incentives of politicians into account to thereby form a better understanding of the formation of policy and the role of different political institutions in shaping economic policy. The course will consist of three blocks. In the first, the basic issues and the tools of modelling political equilibria will be discussed. These will subsequently be used to look into redistributive policies. The focus thereby is on how the interplay between democratic institutions and self-seeking individuals, lobby groups, and parties determines the degree of redistribution in a society. By taking also intertemporal issues into account, the third part allows us to analyse public debt levels, pensions, capital taxation and economic growth.
Prerequisites / NoticeAn introductory course in Economics is required to sign up for this course.
860-0017-00LArgumentation and Science Communication Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 10.

MSc students, PhD students and postdocs with a science and technology background have priority.
W6 credits3GA. Wenger, C. J. Baumberger, M. Dunn Cavelty, G. Hirsch Hadorn, U. Jasper, R. Knutti
AbstractAnalyzing 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.
ObjectiveStudents 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.
ContentAnalyzing 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).
Schedule:
W1: Introduction
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 notesPapers are made available for the participants of this course.
LiteraturePapers are made available for the participants of this course.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe 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%.
701-0729-01LEmpirical Social Research Methods Restricted registration - show details W2 credits2GS. Wehrli, I. Günther
AbstractThe course provides an overview of the various methodological approaches in empirical social research and covers the different stages of the research process. Acquired skills are applied in a research project on the topic of "environmental behavior" and "development policy".
ObjectiveUpon completion of the course, students should be familiar with:
(1) The basic principles behind different empirical social-research methods and the conditions under which their use is appropriate
(2) The steps involved in an empirical study
(3) The application of empirical research methods to a research project
ContentEmpirical social research employs a wide variety of research methods, such as surveys or laboratory and non-reactive field experiments. The course will begin with an overview of the various methodological approaches, including their advantages and disadvantages and the conditions under which their use is appropriate. It will continue with a discussion of the different stages of the research process, including hypothesis generation, formulating a research plan, measurement, sampling, data collection and data analysis. This knowledge will be applied to conducting a research project on a suitable topic.
LiteratureBabbie, E. (2009). The Practice of Social Research (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods (3rd ed.). Oxford: University Press.
Diekmann, A. (2007). Empirische Sozialforschung (18. Aufl.). Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt.
860-0019-00LEmpirical Social Research Methods (with Paper) Restricted registration - show details
Only for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc.
W3 credits2G + 1AS. Wehrli, I. Günther
AbstractThe course provides an overview of the various methodological approaches in empirical social research and covers the different stages of the research process. Acquired skills are applied in a research project on the topic of "environmental behavior" and "development policy".
ObjectiveUpon completion of the course, students should be familiar with:
(1) The basic principles behind different empirical social-research methods and the conditions under which their use is appropriate
(2) The steps involved in an empirical study
(3) The application of empirical research methods to a research project
ContentEmpirical social research employs a wide variety of research methods, such as surveys or laboratory and non-reactive field experiments. The course will begin with an overview of the various methodological approaches, including their advantages and disadvantages and the conditions under which their use is appropriate. It will continue with a discussion of the different stages of the research process, including hypothesis generation, formulating a research plan, measurement, sampling, data collection and data analysis. This knowledge will be applied to conducting a research project on a suitable topic.
LiteratureBabbie, E. (2009). The Practice of Social Research (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods (3rd ed.). Oxford: University Press.
Diekmann, A. (2007). Empirische Sozialforschung (18. Aufl.). Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt.
Prerequisites / Noticethis course is linked to the course Empirical Social Research Methods 701-0729-01L
860-0005-01LColloquium Science, Technology, and Policy (FS) Restricted registration - show details
Only for Science, Technology, and Policy MSc.
O1 credit2KT. Bernauer, R. S. Abhari
AbstractPresentations by invited guest speakers from academia and practice/policy. Students are assigned to play a leading role in the discussion and write a report on the respective event.
ObjectivePresentations by invited guest speakers from academia and practice/policy. Students are assigned to play a leading role in the discussion and write a report on the respective event.
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