110 Syllabus – Fall 2017

San José State University

College of Humanities & the Arts/Philosophy Department

PHIL 110 Science, Technology and Human Values, Section 1, Fall, 2017

Course and Contact Information

Instructor: Lisa Bernasconi

Office Location: Faculty Office Building – FO206

Email: lisa.bernasconi@sjsu.edu

Office Hours:  Mondays 2:50pm to 3:50pm and by email and before and after class and by appointment.

Class Days/Time: MW 10:30am to 11:45am

Classroom: Boccardo Business Classrooms BBC222

Prerequisites:  Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST) or ENGL/LLD 100A with a C or better (C- not accepted), completion of Core General Education and upper division standing are prerequisites to all SJSU studies courses. Completion of, or co-registration in, 100W is strongly recommended.

SJSU Studies Category:   Area V

Course Format

In person – lecture required

Faculty Web Page and MYSJSU Messaging

Course materials such as syllabus, handouts, notes, assignment  instructions, etc. can be found on my faculty web page at www.mrsbernasconi.com.   You are responsible for regularly checking with the messaging system through MySJSU at http://my.sjsu.edu.  Make sure that your email address is up to date with MySJSU.  This is the only email I will use to communicate with you.

Course Description

The aims, methods and world views of science and technology; such value issues as technological determinism, design aesthetics and moral implications of computer and other technologies.

GE Learning Outcomes (GELO)

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. “Compare systematically the ideas, values, images, cultural artifacts, economic structures, technological developments, or attitudes of people from different societies.” For example, we will examine case studies on the idea of scavenging, reuse and recycling of industrial waste in different countries.
  2. “Identify the historical context of ideas and cultural practices and their dynamic relation to other historical contexts.” For example, we will look at the how U.S. culture is influenced by the so-called conflict between science and religion.
  3. “Explain how a culture outside the U.S. changes in response to internal and external pressures.” For example, we will explore Jeremy Rifkin’s “third industrial revolution” theory that change in less developed countries will be fueled by the internet and renewable energy development.


Groups of students will read and lead class discussion on books to be assigned, related to their majors or areas of interest. Online readings will be linked on class website.

Course Requirements and Assignments

  • 1 group reading/class presentation project worth 30% of semester grade
  • 2 take home exams on class films and discussions worth a total of 50% of semester grade
  • 1 community service project worth 5% of semester grade
  • 1 final exam/evaluation worth 15% of semester grade

“Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of 45 hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.”

Final Evaluation

A take home essay assignment will be distributed on the last day of class and must be returned to me by email at lisa.bernasconi@sjsu.edu by 12:00pm (noon) on Friday, December 15, our scheduled final exam date and time. In order to complete this assignment you must have attended most or all of the book presentations.

Grading Information

The in-class exams will be graded on a scale of 0 to 100. The group project will be graded on the same F to A scale. The community service will be graded pass/fail. The final evaluation paper will be graded pass/fail. Your grade on all assignments will be determined by your demonstrated understanding of the concepts involved, the clarity of your arguments or explanations, and attention to details of grammar and spelling. For the group project, the entire group will receive the same grade, so everyone is responsible for every section of the completed project.

Determination of Grades

A 95 to 100; A- 90 to 94; B+ 87 to 89; B 84 to 86; B- 80 to 83; C+ 77 to 79; C 74 to 76; C- 70 to 73; D 60 to 69; F 0 to 59

  • Plus (+) or minus (-) grades will be used for semester grades but not on assignments
  • There will be no extra credit assigned
  • Late assignments will be accepted at the discretion of the instructor and may be subject to penalty.

Classroom Protocol

Silence cell phones. Use laptops and other devices only for note taking. Arrive on time. Be courteous to your fellow students. Let me know promptly if you have any concerns about the class. During films and group discussions, close your laptop, put down your phone, and be attentive. If you plan to be absent on an exam day, please let me know in advance by email.

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs’ Syllabus Information web page at http://www.sjsu.edu/gup/syllabusinfo/”