Alastair Iles, UC Berkeley;
Christine Rosen, UC Berkeley

Denver 2015: Pedagogy

In the past six years, the Center for Green Chemistry at UC Berkeley has rolled out a number of interdisciplinary courses aimed at scientists, engineers, designers, business managers, social scientists, and environmental health specialists at the graduate level. STS scholarship has been integrated into many of these courses, thus introducing science and engineering students to STS ideas they would otherwise not have encountered. For example, in spring 2015, we taught a NSF EESE program-funded graduate seminar that interweaved STS with practical problem-solving. Using a public ethics framework, we explored the practical challenges and ethical conundrums of redesigning materials and products to make them safer and more sustainable in our very complex modern industrial system. Using eleven new cases developed for this course about products such as electric cars, flame retardants, and nanotechnology materials, we looked at green design, ethical reasoning, systems thinking, life cycle analysis, information failure, regulatory failure, and organizational culture.