VITHF900: Theory of science and ethics at the Faculty of Humanities and The Grieg Academy - Department of Music
The Course VITHF900 - Theory of Science and Ethics, is a mandatory part of the doctoral education at the Faculty of Humanities and of The Grieg Academy - Department of Music, at the Faculty of Art, Music and Design.
VITHF900 Course description - for 2020 or previously
NB! This course is undergoing some changes for 2021. Please some back to the website in September.
The information below only concerns those who have taken the course in 2020 or previously.
Language of instruction: English
Course unit level: PhD
Access to the Course Unit: Students enrolled in the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities and at the Grieg Academy - Department of Music.
Aim and Content
The aim of the course is 1) to give an overview of key topics in theory of science, such as the relationship between science and society, normative issues related to science, and ethical issues in science (including research ethics), and philosophy of science, and 2) to offer students an arena and opportunity to reflect critically upon their own research.
The course consists of four parts:
- 4-day seminar in theory of science and ethics.
- Supervision of a paper discussing problems in theory of science and/or ethics relevant for the student's own project.
- Presentation and discussion of the paper.
- Commenting upon 2 papers written by peers.
Upon completing the course and the presentation and discussion of the paper, the student is expected to have demonstrated: Knowledge of general problems of theory of science and ethics, and an ability to identify and discuss in detail, problems in theory of science and/or ethics that are directly relevant to the student’s project, or to the field of study in which the project belongs.
Master’s degree, or equivalent.
- Prepare for (read text compendium) and take part in seminar in the theory of science and ethics at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities (SVT). The course takes place annually in January. Attendance at seminar: min. 80%.
- Write a paper in theory of science and ethics. The paper is submitted electronically.
- Take part in supervision of paper in groups and/or individually.
- Provide comments to papers by two peers following their public presentation (cf. below).
The committee must recommend the paper before it can be presented. The presentation takes place in the form of a public lecture (30 min.) followed by a discussion with committee members and peers (45min.) Final assessment is given by the committee after the presentation and discussion.
The members of the assessment committee is proposed jointly by the student's home department and the SVT, and shall normally consist of the supervisor of the PhD project, a representative of the faculty at the student’s department/academic field, and the representative from the SVT. The committee is appointed by the SVT.
Deadline for submitting paper is April 30th. Presentation of the paper will take place before the end of spring term. The total workload for the course is approx. 8 weeks. Length of paper: approx. 3000 words.
The department shall make copies of the recommended manuscript available to the public within one week before the presentation.
Place of teaching:
Participating students will evaluate the course in accordance with the University’s system of quality assurance.
VITHF900 Guidelines for assessment of paper
On assessment of papers in VITHF900
(The deadline for papers is April 30. Papers are forwarded to committee members on May 2.)
Assessment of the papers follows a two-step procedure (see course description). In step 1 the committee recommends, or not, that the paper be presented. In step 2 the committee issues a pass or fail, based on the presentation and discussion of the paper.
The assessment criteria are set down in the learning outcomes section of the course description:
"Upon completing the course and the presentation and discussion of the paper, the student is expected to have demonstrated: Knowledge of general problems of theory of science and ethics, and an ability to identify and discuss in detail, problems in theory of science and/or ethics that are directly relevant to the student’s project, or to the field of study in which the project belongs."
Topics in theory of science is understood in a broad sense, exemplified in the following non-exhaustive list:
- Meta-perspective on scientific knowledge, scientific language, scientific activities/practices.
- Critical discussion of theories, models, concepts, or assumptions in the discipline/project.
- Critical discussion of the history of the discipline.
- Critical discussion of the relationship between scientific research and society.
- Research ethics and/or science ethics.
The successful paper is critical and argument-based. A purely descriptive approach is not sufficient. The paper should point out and discuss possible objections to the author's arguments and conclusions ("critical" entails "self-critical").
The committee recognises that the paper does not necessarily display all the qualities expected of a scholarly article ready for publication. The feedback from the committee and other peers is meant to contribute towards developing the paper into a publishable text. Shortcomings, however, should be of a nature and number that can be adequately addressed and discussed with the candidate in the course of the 45 min. discussion.
The candidate should strive to write a paper that is accessible to competent readers outside of the candidate's own discipline/specialization, i.e. accessible to his or her peers across disciplines at the Faculty of Humanities.
VITHF900 Spring semester, 2020
The next 4-day seminar will be held in January, 2021. Participation in all the four days of the course is mandatory. The two first days of the course will be held in Bergen, while the other two days of the course will be held at a hotel outside of Bergen. SVT books the hotel rooms for everyone. You must book your own train tickets. It is also possible to drive and park there as well. The exact dates of the course will be posted during the Fall semester.
Please send application for enrollment by the 1. of December 2020 to: CLOSED
Do not use MY UIB – send application directly to Judith Larsen
The application must include:
1. Person number (11 digits)
2. Name of Institute
3. Research topic
4. Name of supervisor (s)
5. A copy of the project or project summary
6. Food preferences and allergies
NOTE: This course is only for PhD students at the Faculty of Humanities and the Grieg Academy - Department of Music at the University of Bergen.