Science, Ethics and Society (HPSC3107)


In this unit of study, we will use approaches from the sociology to investigate the place of science in society, the internal dynamics of science, and ethical issues within science and in relation to its application. The key idea in this course is that science is a social activity that can be studied like other forms of social phenomena and behaviour. There are three components to this Unit of Study: an exploration of the motivations of scientists and how they can be described using cognitive and ethical rules; approaches in the social studies of science; and ethical issues that have become prominent because of recent developments in science.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


One 2-hour lecture and two 1-hour tutorials per week.


Two 1500-word essays (2x25%); one 3000-word essay (40%); participation (10%).


Sismondo, Sergio. An Introduction to Science and Technology Studies. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(HPSC2100 or HPSC2900) and (HPSC2101 or HPSC2901)


HPSC3022 or HPSC3024

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.