Course Code: GFOK105
Number of Credits: 3 HECNumber of Participants: 30
1 ordinary and 1 stand-by seat booking per course permitted
The overall aim of this course is to give the participants a thorough
understanding of the concept of sustainable development, its ethical
underpinnings and possible interpretations, stimulating them reflect on
their own view of sustainability and what role and responsibility we as
research have for sustainable development.Intended learning outcome
After the completion of the course the participants should be able to:
basic ethical concepts (e.g., intrinsic vs instrumental values) and
evaluate decisions based on different ethical frameworks. (e.g.,
utilitarian, justice, rights, and virtue based approaches).
- explain the concept of sustainable development and discuss its historical roots and normative (ethical) foundations.
and compare different interpretations of sustainability using concepts
such as substitutability, critical natural capital, and weak and strong
- discuss the social embeddedness of technology
and reflect over how society affects both the development and evaluation
of technology and scientific knowledge.
- relate the aspects on
ethics, sustainable development and technology to their own research or
research field, applying the concepts introduced to research, teaching
and utilization activities.
- reflect on the role and responsibility of researchers to contribute to a sustainable development.
No prior knowledge is required
This course is
eligible within the "Generic and Transferable Skills" course curriculum
for PhD students and young researchers at Chalmers University of Technology
Sustainable development, by definition, is a normative
concept; it says something about how we should organize our societies
for the betterment of current and future generations. Understanding the
concept of sustainable development therefore requires a basic grasp of
ethics, as different underlying value systems will give different
answers to what is sustainable and not. This course will introduce the
participants to the basic ethical concepts and frameworks needed to
analyse the idea of sustainable development.
We will then
together with the students unpack the concept of sustainable
development, exploring how different underlying values lead to different
interpretations of sustainable development, as well as the role of
science in determining what is sustainable and not. The participants
will be encouraged to formulate their own understanding and
interpretation of sustainable development.
Based on this enhanced
understanding of the idea of sustainable development we will then go on
to consider the role of researchers in for a sustainable development.
This requires, foremost, an understanding of the social embeddedness of
technology and scientific inquiry; that is, the dynamics through which
technological development and scientific progress is influenced by and
influences society. It also requires an understanding of the
"wickedness" of sustainability problems; that is, the social complexity
of sustainability problems, how ethical and political factors affect how
different actors and stakeholders perceive sustainability solutions,
and the potential unintended consequences arising from proposed
solutions to sustainability problems. Based on this we will together
reflect upon which role we as researchers should take in the societal
debate on sustainability issues and what responsibility researchers have
for a sustainable future.
The course comprises lectures, group assignments and discussions as well as peer-response sessions.
Other resources used: learning platform PingPong. Course leader and examiner
Martin Persson (examiner), Jörgen Larsson (course leader), Fredrik Hedenus, Ulrika Lundqvist and Frances Sprei
Sustainable Development: History, Definition & The
Role of the Engineer, 2015, Fredrik Hedenus, Martin Persson and Frances
Completion of the course requires the participant to:
1. Partake in each of the four course sessions;
2. Write an essay on
their view of sustainability, as well as sustainability, ethics and
society-technology aspects of their own research or research field;
3. Provide peer feedback on the essay of another participant;
4. Contribute actively to the open space activity in the final session.Examination in the enrolled courses can be acquired within one year from the start. After the expiration date no missing assignments can be admitted and a participant should re-apply to another course occasion.
Stand-by list means that the course is fully booked but you may be offered a seat if one becomes available. In this case a notification will be sent to you.
Cancellation of participation in the GTS courses
should be done as soon as possible and one week before start
at the latest via the link in the confirmation email. In case of cancellation less then 7 days before start, send email to email@example.com. Starting Autumn term 2018, late cancellations (less then 7 days) and no-showing up to the course will be fined.