HTS 2084 HP: Technology and Society

Fall 2019
Spring 2018
Credit Hours: 
3
Instructor: 
Dr. Eric Schatzberg
Technology and Society examines connections between the history of technology and other aspects of human history. In the course, I use a series of historical episodes to challenge widely held misperceptions about technology and how it operates in the modern world. I argue that technology is a human product, not an autonomous force. Technology makes nothing happen by itself, but only as the result of human action. We can, therefore, only make sense of technology by understanding it as an integral part of human history. There are three major parts to the course. The first part focuses on the factors that shape technological change, including the creativity of invention, the uncertainty of development, and the influence of science and economics. The second part examines technology in relation to society and culture, treating issues of gender, work, and war. The third part concentrates on ethics of technology, with case studies on the fear of robots, automobile safety, and the shuttle Challenger.