Science, Technology and Society: Challenges and Opportunities

Science, Technology and Society (STS): Challenges and Opportunities


With the approval of the University Council, STS is now one of the six “super GE” courses required for all undergraduates. The rationale for requiring STS is that this is the only course in the GE program where all the science, social science, humanities disciplines interact and are studied within the context of Philippine and global society.

This paper reviews the problems of delivering STS in the first 25 years of its implementation and the recommendation of the committee that reviewed the course and the changes and reforms to its pedagogy. Following the reforms, since 2006 STS has been delivered by stand-alone lectures given by the university’s best professors in their disciplines which range from philosophy, history, the social sciences, economics, the natural sciences, mathematics, and the professions of law, business, media communications, tourism, and medicine. Eminent practitioners in business, the arts, and law are regularly invited as guest lecturers pro bono. And without compromising the secular nature of the course, a Roman Catholic theologian has also been invited to give the social and historical context of astronomy in the Bible. All the lectures emphasize the societal role of science and technology with some lectures focusing on social change and perception. There are no required readings in the course although lecturers may suggest texts for learning enrichment. The students are required to attend at least one public lecture or forum for which they write an essay. There is one exam where students are expected to choose a theme and integrate what they have learned in the course.

The main challenge is increasing demand. Demand for STS is expected to increase from the 160 students in six sections each to 10 sections. This will make it more difficult for the Science and Society Program to get the commitment of affiliate faculty to offer the menu of topics. The solutions to these problems are proposed.

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The media player is loading... Dr. Benjamin Vallejo
Assistant Professor, Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology
Coordinator, Science and Society Program, College of Science

This vodcast is part of the UPD General Education Conference 2012