Fall 2005

Course details:
Course Description:

Humanity has long reminded itself of the dangers of over-confidence and self-reliance by telling stories about great technological disasters such as the Tower of Babel and Icarus' attempt to fly too close to the sun. Since the rise of the modern technological age, tales such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein have become common, warning against a dependence on science and technology. Is technology evil? Many works of science fiction show technology leading to estrangement from the rest of society. Is this true in everyday experience? Are there positive images of science in popular culture to balance the stereotype of the "mad scientist"? What responsibilities do scientists have as citizens? Who is responsible for technology? Scientists? Engineers? Corporations? Politicians? Through discussion and writing, we will reflect on society's view of science and technology over the past 150 years as reflected in fiction and movies.