ESD.10 Introduction to Technology and Policy

Fall 2006

Graph showing steady rise in temperature from 1900-2000.
A 2006 NASA study reveals that the Earth has been warming approximately 0.2 degrees Celsius (.36 Fahrenheit) per decade for the past 30 years. This rapid warming has brought global temperature to within about one degree Celsius 1.8 Degrees Fahrenheit) of the maximum estimated temperature during the past million years. (Image courtesy of NASA.)

Course Highlights

This course features assignments and projects plus extensive readings.

Course Description

This course explores perspectives in the policy process - agenda setting, problem definition, framing the terms of debate, formulation and analysis of options, implementation and evaluation of policy outcomes using frameworks including economics and markets, law, and business and management. Methods include cost/benefit analysis, probabilistic risk assessment, and system dynamics. Exercises include developing skills to work on the interface between technology and societal issues; simulation exercises; case studies; and group projects that illustrate issues involving multiple stakeholders with different value structures, high levels of uncertainty, multiple levels of complexity; and value trade-offs that are characteristic of engineering systems. Emphasis on negotiation, team building and group dynamics, and management of multiple actors and leadership.
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Prof. Dan Roos
Prof. Annalisa Weigel

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

One session / week for the first six weeks
1 hour / session