The term project provides GE 301 students with an opportunity to assess the development of a specific technology and related social, political, ethical and cultural contexts. One way to gain insight into the development and production of technologies is to go the field to observe the design process and actors working at the intersection of science, technology and society. As part of the research effort, students may investigate the role of values in technological decision-making, identify strategies used in the innovation process, observe technical practices in the lab and/or consider the role of users in the design process. It is possible to take this assignment in different directions. The research design will be informed by the theoretical approach, background research and field site choice. Students may use one or more methods, including interviews or field notes for the study. The findings will come out of an assessment of the data and will also be informed by the theoretical lens. After students have selected a field site, then it will be important to gather local data (i.e., from the company or the lab) and find academic sources that help to identify key issues and concerns related to the general area (e.g., artificial intelligence, cyber security, nanotechnology, bioinformatics, medical imaging, virtual reality, etc). During classes, we will discuss how students can use methods to collect data (through interviews, observations, collection of relevant sources, etc) and analyze them through the lens of science and technology studies theories.
Please note that you should consult the document provided by your instructor for specific details on how to go ahead with this project. There may be some variation between sections.