UCC ACE Short courses

Science in Society CLOSED

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Science in Society CLOSED

  • Code


  • College

    Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    Ten weeks, Tuesday and Thursday 6-7pm, starts 21 January, ends 24 March

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    Cert of Attendance

  • Fees

    €230 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    Friday 17 January 2020

  • Venue

    Boole Building, Lecture Theatre 2, UCC

  • Start Date

    Tuesday 21 January 2020

Course Outline

This course is designed to give its participants an overview of how science, and the scientific method, has helped to shape our society today, and the broad ethical issues raised by scientific and technological advances. Students will gain an understanding of the type of knowledge discovered by science and the types of question that science can and cannot answer (e.g. in the context of science and religion).

Ways of Knowing About the World
Science, Art, Literature, Religion, Philosophy, Music
– different ways of telling us about the world, ourselves and our place in the world

The Nature of Science
What is science and what can it tell us about the world?
The scientific method - Basic and Applied Research. What is science unable to tell us?

What has Science Discovered About the Natural Physical World?
The Big Bang; The Expanding Universe; Star and Planet Formation;
The large scale structure of the Universe, The Nature of the Physical Laws.

What has Science Discovered About the Biological World ?
What is Life?; The Theory of Evolution; The Cellular Basis of Life; DNA; Genetics and Inheritance.

New Biological Technologies
Genetic Engineering; Genetically Modified Food; Cloning, Stem Cell Research; Reproductive Technologies.

Pseudo-Science and Anti Science
The modern trend of anti-science; Criticisms of science; The rise of pseudo science.

The Public Understanding of Science
Surveys of public understanding of science; Campaigns to enhance public understanding; Science centres and museums; Perceptions of risk.

Science and Engineering: Which Came First ?
The history and nature of Engineering and its different constituent disciplines.

Science and Religion
How evolutionary theory refuted the argument from design; The fatal flaws in Intelligent Design and creationism. Are science and religion complementary and compatible or are they contradictory?

When Science Goes Wrong
Eugenics; Science under the Nazis; Science and Weapons of Mass Destruction; Industrial Development/Environmental Pollution.

Science and the Environment
Science as essential to understanding the environment; Ecological Systems and Services; Environmental Problems – Pollution, Pesticides, Global Warming, Loss of Species; Conservation and Management of Environment.

Science and Health
Pasteur and the Germ Theory of Disease; Antibiotics; Immunisation; Nutrition; Improvement in Life Expectancy in 20th Century; Potential of Stem Cell Research; Genetic Therapy.

Science and the Humanities
Science as a Social Construct; Nature Versus Nurture Debate; Marxism and Science; How science/scientists are portrayed in literature and film; Science Fiction; Science and Art.

The Rules of Science
How does scientific research work ?
Professional conduct, publication and ethics in Science.

Technology, Science and Modern Economy
Modern technology is science-based;
Economic growth and science; Case studies; Science and big business.

Science in Irish History
Ireland's tradition of science and discovery.



Course Practicalities

Who teaches this course: 

Professor Paul Callanan, Physics Department, UCC, and will be delivered in 19 x 1 hr. lectures by staff from College of SEFS and additional lecturers.


Short courses are non assessed, but in this case a 50 min Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) exam is optional at the end of the course.



Why Choose This Course

If you have an interest in understanding how science, and the scientific method, has helped to shape our society today, the broad ethical issues raised by scientific and technological advances, and the type of knowledge discovered by science and the types of question that science cannot answer - then this is the course for you.  The course covers a very wide range of topics relating Science and Society in an accessible way by an unrivalled teams of experts in many fields of science, engineering, and education.


Fees and Costs

The fee for this course is €230.

How Do I Apply

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 January 2020. Fees are listed in each course description. Students register and pay fees before course commencement as follows:

1. Register and pay online by clicking the Apply Now button below. Course commencement is subject to sufficient enrolment. In the event of a course not commencing applicants will be informed and their fees will be returned.

2. Payment may also be made by credit or debit card, cheque, postal order or bank draft made payable to UCC and these should be returned together with a completed application form to Short Courses, Adult Continuing Education, The Laurels, Western Road. Application forms are available from the office or they may be downloaded from the link below.

3. Students may also hand in completed application forms to the office at ACE between 9:15am and 5pm each day prior to the closing date. We regret we are unable to accept cash.


Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact