Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities

MNF990: Course in Theory of Science and Ethics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

MNF990 is a mandatory PhD-level course for Research Fellows with The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Course Description

MNF990 is a course in the Theory of Science and research ethics, and is mandatory for PhD students at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The course, which is a mixture of lectures and seminars, is given over a period of three weeks. Participants are required to attend 85% of the course, and to submit two written practice assignments during the three weeks the course is held. In addition, an essay is to be written and submitted within two and a half weeks after the course has ended. The two written assignments and the essay form the basis for the evaluation; the grading is "pass"/"fail".

Language of instruction: English


Course content
The course addresses some problems of general interest in theory of science and ethics. Examples are complexity and uncertainty, the relationship between science and society, the ethical responsibility of scientists and moral dilemmas created by modern science.

The course also has a section of elective modules. Each module addresses a specific topic, and each participant has to select three modules.

Learning outcomes
The main objective of the course is to acquaint the participants with important topics in the theory of science that may be useful in the work on their own projects. Additionally, they are supposed to develop a broader perspective of their own academic field, increasing their sensitivity to epistemological, ethical and societal aspects of their activity.

Study period: Spring and fall semester

Form of assessment
In addition to the two written assignments an essay must be completed within two and a half weeks after the end of the course. The assignments and the essay will be the basis for assessment. The final grade is "pass" or "fail".

The course is taught in concentrated form: All lectures and seminars take place in three weeks (Monday to Friday). The instruction is a mixture of lectures and seminars. The seminars address specific topics and go through exercises. During the course wo written assignments have to be submitted.

It is required that the participants attend 85 % of the lectures and seminars.