Senter for vitenskapsteori

Course description: VITHF900 Theory of science and ethics

 ECTS: 5

Teaching semester: Spring

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 Greig 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:

  1. 4-day seminar in theory of science and ethics.
  2. Supervision of a paper discussing problems in theory of science and/or ethics relevant for the student's own project.
  3. Presentation and discussion of the paper.
  4. Commenting upon 2 papers written by peers.

Learning outcomes
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.

Teaching methods:

  • 4-day seminar with lectures, discussions, group and individual assignments.
  • Supervision of paper in groups and/or individually.
  • Discussion of paper with assessment committee members and peers.
  • The presentation of papers takes place within the framework of a seminar consisting of 3 presentations. Each student prepares comments to each of the other two presenters at the seminar.

Mandatory requirements:

  1. 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%.
  2.  Write a paper in theory of science and ethics. The paper is submitted electronically.
  3. Take part in supervision of paper in groups and/or individually.
  4. Provide comments to papers by two peers following their public presentation (cf. below).

Assessment methods:
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. 20 000 bytes, spacing included.

The department shall make copies of the recommended manuscript available to the public within one week before the presentation.

Grading scale:
Approved/not approved

Place of teaching:

Course evaluation:
Participating students will evaluate the course in accordance with the University’s system of quality assurance.

Contact information:
For more information please contact SVT on 55582705, or consult the SVT web pages at uib.no/svt