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Science, Technology and Public Policy (PPMN20001)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codePPMN20001
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

How do we translate scientific knowledge into public policy? And why is this so often controversial (such as when regulating medicines, chemicals, or water allocations)?

This subject examines the ways in which expertise shapes public policy, taking into account the variety of knowledge/s and disciplines that count when formulating public policy and the different roles which experts adopt in the process. It also investigates the role of public participation in shaping public policy.

It will draw on insights from regulatory science, political theory, and science & technology studies to give students the concepts and analytical tools to understand how science shapes, and is shaped by, regulation. The issues will be explored through a number of detailed cases, including cross-country comparisons of different regulatory approaches.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Understand the ways in which scientific knowledge and public legitimacy shape public policy and regulation, and compare approaches across a number of countries;
  • Understand the ways in which public participation contributes to public policy formation;
  • Understand the different roles which specialists and experts can assume when advising on public policy and regulation;
  • Learn practical techniques relevant to comparing policies and engaging publics in policymaking;
  • Communicate effectively in oral and written formats.

Generic skills

Upon successful completion of this subject, students will have skills in:

  • reading, writing and presenting clearly and analytically
  • conducting library searches for relevant literatures
  • developing structured ways of analysing science & technology in policymaking

Last updated: 20 September 2019