Overnments decisions change the history of science

Instructions: Write a three to four-page essay, double spaced, with one-inch margins all around. Do not exceed four pages. Use a readable 12-point font, not smaller than Times. In your first paragraph, state your thesis, that is, the general point you are making, along with a brief summary of the argument and evidence you use to support it. Limit the body of the paper to two or three specific examples or points. Focus your analysis on the readings and lectures. Feel free to express your own opinions, but be sure to connect them to specific course content. Please use mainly the course materials to illustrate your points. Use materials from outside course syllabus for only fact or figures citation.
Keep quotations to a minimum; we want your own interpretation and analysis. When you quote, indicate the author and page number in parentheses after the quotation, Like this(Schatzberg, 37). If you use information from outside the course in your essay, provide a citation (footnote or endnote) identifying the source. Consider your audience to be an intelligent fellow student not in your class. Feel free to ask such a friend to read your essay.


a?Governments play a key role in shaping technological change from invention to use, for example by funding research and development and by issuing regulations. Examine two or three technologies from the last section of the course to show how government actions made a difference. Did the symbolic meanings of the technology, as expressed in popular attitudes like enthusiasm or distrust, influence the governments role in technological change?a?

Related Course Syllabus

Week 12 (Apr. 14, 16) Automobiles, Engineers and Corporate Responsibility
The Chevrolet Corvair and its implications for engineering ethics.
Reading: Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed (1965), vii-x, 1-32, 138-170. Week 13 (Apr. 21, 23) The Space Race and the Origin of the Space Shuttle
From Sputnik to the Shuttle program. Guest lectures by Stephen Neal.
Reading: DeGroot, The Dark Side of the Moon (2006), 45-78, 121-52 (chaps. 4-5, 8);
Roland, The Shuttle: Triumph or Turkey(1985), 29-49.

Week 14 (Apr. 28, 30) The Challenger Disaster
A study in engineering ethics.
Reading: Boisjoly, Curtis, and Mellican, Roger Boisjoly and the Challenger Disaster(1989),
Feynman, What Do You Care What Other People Think?,114-247.

Week 15 (May 5, 7) Technological Determinism, Revisited
A look at one of the leading advocates of a determinist understanding of technology, and one of
his critics.
Reading: Kelly, Understanding Technological Evolution and Diversity(2011), 44-48;
Morozov, E-Salvation(2011), 28-31.

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