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MFCO222 Science, Technology, and Society

An exploration of the interdisciplinary field of science, technology, and society (STS), examining the complex interaction of science, technology, medicine and society.

The paper examines how social, political, cultural and material conditions shape scientific work and how science, in turn, shapes society. Because of the central role of science, technology and medicine in driving modern developments, understanding the relationships among science, technology and society is crucial for understanding the history of humanity and the contemporary world. The paper explores general themes in the field of science, technology and society, as well as specific case studies involving key controversies and debates.

Paper title Science, Technology, and Society
Paper code MFCO222
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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36 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
The paper does not require prior attainment of specialised scientific or technical knowledge.
Teaching staff

Convenor and Lecturer: Associate Professor Hugh Slotten
The paper will also include guest lecturers on special topics.

Paper Structure


  • Journals: 30%
  • Tutorial participation (includes Peer Review Exercise 5%): 15%
  • Essay: 25%
  • Take-home essay exam: 30%
Teaching Arrangements

Two lectures and one tutorial per week.


Individual readings for the paper may be downloaded from Blackboard.

Course outline

View a sample course outline for MFCO 222

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Communication, Scholarship, Global perspective, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-Motivation, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will develop:

  • The ability to critically analyse their own assumptions about the relationships among science, medicine, technology and society
  • The ability to explain developments in science, technology and medicine in terms of their interactions with social, cultural, environmental and other issues
  • An in-depth knowledge of case studies involving controversies related to the social, cultural and political dimensions of science, technology and medicine
  • The ability to research and analyse the subject using written and oral communications
  • An appreciation of interdisciplinary perspectives

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Monday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
T2 Thursday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41
T3 Thursday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41