TMP 352 – Spring 2008

Science and Technology Policy

Course Calendar - last update 3/19/07

This calendar below describes the topics of each class meeting, reading assignments, paper due dates and project due dates.  Readings will from the text, articles from the literature, newspapers, and sites on the Web.  This calendar will be updated from time to time as the course unfolds.  Readings associated with a particular date should be completed before you come to class.  Discussion papers are due in class on the date of discussion of the topic.

Date Class Topic Readings and Assignments Due
16 Jan Introduction to the Course - Context; Definition of Science, Technology & Public Policy 
21 Jan

HOLIDAY - Martin Luther King day


23 Jan No class meeting  
28 Jan


Institutional context of S&T policy - Organizations and processes at the federal level


The Congressional Appropriations Process  Also:

Consult the Web; get an understanding of congressional committees

30 Jan No class meeting Watch President's State of the Union Address on the evening of 28 January

Email to the instructor on 30 Jan a pair of bulleted lists that summarize the most important issues discussed by the President in the State of the Union address that relate to a) policy for science (e.g. regulation of stem cell research) and b) science for policy (e.g. plans for research or technology development that will inform future policy such as research in sequestration of carbon).  Each list should have at least four subjects, and should succinctly describe the Prez's message.

4 Feb

Discuss State of the Union address

Institutional context of S&T policy - Organizations and processes at the federal level - continued

Case Study:  Federal management of one technology:  High Performance Computing & Communications

Same readings as for 28 Jan
6 Feb Discussion:  Should genetically modified foods be banned? Read: Text, pages 217-235

Discussion topic paper due

Instructors suggestions for good writing of discussion papers

11 Feb
Federal funding of research - basic and applied - who funds what in the current federal budget.  Who does the research?

Review AAAS Analysis of FY08 Budget

13 Feb Industrial Research and development.  Sematech as an example of government intervention

Scientific method

18 Feb Discussion:  Should Intelligent Design & Evolution be taught on an equal footing in school? Search Web for readings.  Make sure to understand the distinction between "creationism" and "intelligent design"

Discussion topic paper due

20 Feb

Energy: Overview of the sources, types and uses of energy

PCAST: The Energy Imperative: Technology and the Role of Emerging Companies - read the Executive Summary

United Nations: World Energy Assessment - read the Overview

25 Feb

Energy - continued

End to end system -- production, distribution and consumption of gasoline

27 Feb Discussion:  Should the U.S. convert to a hydrogen economy?



Read: Text, pages 116-136

Also: P. Domenici, Powering the Future, The Bridge, National Academy of Engineering, Summer 2002. 18-22

H. Payne, D. Katz, Will Hydrogen End Our Fossil-Fuel Addiction? Taking Sides-Environmental Issues, 11 ed., T. Easton, McGraw-Hill, 2006. 156-167

Discussion topic paper due 

1-9 Mar Spring Recess  
10 Mar Energy research - Carter years and today's opportunities  
12 Mar DiscussionIs it time to revive nuclear power?

Read: Text, pages 95-115

Also: M. Adams, “Sustainable Energy from Nuclear Fission Power,” The Bridge, NAE, Winter 2002. 20-26 

M.S.Y. Chiu and J.R. Dyer, Licensing, Design, and Construction of the Yucca Mountain Repository, The Bridge, NAE, Fall 2003. 18-25          

Discussion topic paper due        

17 Mar Introduction: Stem cell research - promises, opportunities Robert Paarlberg, "The Great Stem Cell Race," Foreign Policy 148 (May-June 2005): p44(8).

Mayo Clinic - Stem Cells

19 Mar Discussion:  Should stem cell research be restricted? Read: Text, pages 359-381 Note that this article is not precisely on the subject of your paper.

Discussion topic paper due

24 Mar  Privacy and ethics


26 Mar Discussion:  Does the use of surveillance technology threaten privacy? Read: Text, pages 304-319

Read: Excerpt from The Transparent Society by David Brin  

Discussion topic paper due

31 Mar U.S. Innovation Enterprise Read: Exec. Summary of Preparing for the Gathering Storm.

Facing the Global Competitiveness Challenge, Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2005 (find on Web)

Technology paper due

2 Apr Global warming Read selectively from: Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming: Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Science Basis - summary for policymakers

Analysis of Global Change Assessments:  Lessons Learned

A classmate cited an on-line video: The Great Global Warming Swindle

7Apr Should society act now to reduce future global warming? Read: Text, pages 70-94

Discussion topic paper due

9 Apr Polar Icebreaker Ships & Science


14 Apr Should manned space exploration be continued? Read: Text, pages 268-281

Discussion topic paper due

16 Apr Auctions of Spectrum and Sustainability - guest speaker: Tom Jones

The Way Forward project is due

Read The Bidding Game

Read Assessing Success in the FCC's 700MHz Auction

21 Apr Project presentations  
23 Apr Project presentations  
28 Apr Last Class - Project presentations  
1-9 May Final examinations - No final exam in this class