Ethics of technology and science I, 2 credits

Etik för teknologi och naturvetenskap I


Language of instruction: English
Course period: Spring 2023, one course, autumn 2023, two courses
Course structure: The spring course is given on site, as is the first autumn course. The autumn's second course is given online for doctoral students on other campuses or travelling.


PhD student at the faculty of Technology and Science. No particular prior knowledge.


After the course, the students should be able to:
•     Account for research ethics guidelines from the Swedish Research Council
•     Demonstrate an ability to make research ethical judgments
•     Account for and discuss the ethical responsibility of researchers within Science and  Technology
•     Describe and analyze the ethical challenges affecting one’s own research field and research practice
Students read the booklet Good Research Practice by the Swedish Research Council, which covers the first learning objective. This is examined by a home exam. In the first lecture of the course, a presentation of what it means to have the ability to make research ethical judgments. The pedagogical focus is to cultivate competence and skills to handle ethical issues in science and research, not only during the phases of research and development, but also for the successful application and implementation of research findings. A main idea is that there are always a number of ethical values at stake and that the PhD student needs to train in order to handle the sometimes-conflicting values, understanding the pros and cons of alternative actions. In the group work leading up to two seminars, as well as a question on the home exam, the students are practicing how to make research ethical judgments, both relating to an issue affecting all fields such as research authorship, and an issue related to the student’s own field. This covers the second learning objective. The third learning objective is covered by a short assignment about researcher’s responsibility which is discussed in class and through an individual assignment. The fourth learning objective is cultivated throughout the course and examined in the essay question of the home exam.


According to the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance, to fulfil the degree objectives for a PhD degree, the PhD student should show intellectual independence and scientific honesty, as well as the ability to make research ethical judgments. Also, a degree objective is to show an in-depth understanding in the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society and people’s responsibility for how it is used. This course directly addresses these two-degree objectives.


The course offers knowledge in the areas of ethical theory, technology ethics and research ethics, especially within the field of technology and science. Moreover, the participants focus on tools and practical skills to enhance their ability to deal with ethical issues, and stimulate their ethical thinking and responsibility.


The course consists of two lectures and two seminars, and of individual and group assignments focusing on the ethics of technology and science.


Mandatory participation in all lectures, seminars and assignments, individual exam and essay.


Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos,
Thomas Lennerfors,


Information Technology and Engineering Sciences


Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos,
Thomas Lennerfors,


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Last modified: 2023-02-17